You are on page 1of 103

G.R. No. L-25554 October 4, 1966 2.

One hundred three Members of the House of Representatives at


P7,200 from July 1 to December 29, 1965
PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION ASSOCIATION, INC., petitioner, and P32,000 from December 30, 1965 to June 30, 1966 2,032,866.00
vs.
ISMAEL MATHAY and JOSE VELASCO, respondents. while for the Senate the corresponding appropriation items appear to be:

Roman Ozaeta and Felixberto Serrano for petitioner. 1. The President of the Senate . . . . . . . . P 16,000.00
Office of the Solicitor General for respondents.
2. Twenty-three Senators at P7,200 . . . . 165,600.00.
REYES, J.B.L., J.:
Thus showing that the 1965-1966 Budget (R.A. No. 4642) implemented the increase in salary
The Philippine Constitution Association, a non-stock, non-profit association duly incorporated of the Speaker and members of the House of Representatives set by Republic Act 4134,
and organized under the laws of the Philippines, and whose members are Filipino citizens approved just the preceding year 1964.
and taxpayers, has filed in this Court a suit against the former Acting Auditor General of the
Philippines and Jose Velasco, Auditor of the Congress of the Philippines, duly assigned The petitioners contend that such implementation is violative of Article VI, Section 14, of the
thereto by the Auditor General as his representative, seeking to permanently enjoin the Constitution, as amended in 1940, that provides as follows:
aforesaid officials from authorizing or passing in audit the payment of the increased salaries
authorized by Republic Act No. 4134 (approved June 10, 1964) to the Speaker and members
SEC. 14. The Senators and the Members of the House of Representatives shall,
of the House of Representatives before December 30, 1969. Subsequently, Ismael Mathay,
unless otherwise provided by law, receive an annual compensation of seven
present Auditor General, was substituted for Amable M. Aguiluz, former Acting Auditor
thousand two hundred pesos each, including per diems and other emoluments or
General.
allowances, and exclusive only of traveling expenses to and from their respective
districts in the case of Members of the House of Representatives, and to and from
Section 1, paragraph 1, of Republic Act No. 4134 provided, inter alia, that the annual salary of their places of residence in the case of Senators, when attending sessions of the
the President of the Senate and of the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be Congress. No increase in said compensation shall take effect until after the
P40,000.00 each; that of the Senators and members of the House of Representatives, expiration of the full term of all the Members of the Senate and of the House of
P32,000.00 each (thereby increasing their present compensation of P16,000.00 and Representatives approving such, increase. Until otherwise provided by law, the
P7,200.00 per annum for the Presiding officers and members, respectively, as set in the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall each
Constitution). The section expressly provided that "the salary increases herein fixed shall take receive an annual compensation of sixteen thousand pesos. (Emphasis supplied)
effect in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution". Section 7 of the same Act
provides "that the salary increase of the President of the Senate and of the Speaker of the
The reason given being that the term of the eight senators elected in 1963, and who took
House of Representatives shall take effect on the effectivity of the salary increase of
part in the approval of Republic Act No. 4134, will expire only on December 30, 1969; while
Congressmen and Senators.
the term of the members of the House who participated in the approval of said Act expired
on December 30, 1965.
The Appropriation Act (Budget) for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1965, to June 30, 1966 (Republic Act
No. 4642) contained the following items for the House of Representatives:
From the record we also glean that upon receipt of a written protest from petitioners
(Petition, Annex "A"), along the lines summarized above, the then Auditor General requested
SPEAKER the Solicitor General to secure a judicial construction of the law involved (Annex "B"); but the
Solicitor General evaded the issue by suggesting that an opinion on the matter be sought
1. The Speaker of the House of Representatives at P16,000 from July 1 to from the Secretary of Justice (Annex "C", Petition). Conformably to the suggestion, the
December 29, 1965 former Acting Auditor General endorsed the PHILCONSA letter to the Secretary of Justice on
and P40,000 from December 30, 1965 to June 30, 1966 . . . P29,129.00 November 26, 1965; but on or before January, 1966, and before the Justice Secretary could
act, respondent Aguiluz, as former Acting Auditor General, directed his representative in
MEMBERS Congress, respondent Velasco, to pass in audit and approve the payment of the increased
salaries within the limits of the Appropriation Act in force; hence the filing of the present
action.
The answer of respondents pleads first the alleged lack of personality of petitioners to Senators and Representatives that approved the measure, using the singular form, and not
institute the action, for lack of showing of injury; and that the Speaker and Members of the the plural, despite the difference in the terms of office (six years for Senators and four for
House should be joined parties defendant. On the merits, the answer alleges that the Representatives thereby rendering more evident the intent to consider both houses for the
protested action is in conformity with the Constitutional provisions, insofar as present purpose as indivisible components of one single Legislature. The use of the word "term" in
members of the Lower House are concerned, for they were elected in 1965, subsequent to the singular, when combined with the following phrase "all the members of the Senate and
the passage of Republic Act 4134. Their stand, in short, is that the expiration of the term of of the House", underscores that in the application of Article VI, Section 14, the fundamental
the members of the House of Representatives who approved the increase suffices to make consideration is that the terms of office of all members of the Legislature that enacted the
the higher compensation effective for them, regardless of the term of the members of the measure (whether Senators or Representatives) must have expired before the increase in
Senate. compensation can become operative. Such disregard of the separate houses, in favor of the
whole, accords in turn with the fact that the enactment of laws rests on the shoulders of the
The procedural points raised by respondent, through the Solicitor General, as their counsel, entire Legislative body; responsibility therefor is not apportionable between the two
need not give pause. As taxpayers, the petitioners may bring an action to restrain officials chambers.
from wasting public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law (Cf.
PHILCONSA vs. Gimenez, L-23326, December 18, 1965; Tayabas vs. Perez, 56 Phil. 257; It is also highly relevant, in the Court's opinion, to note that, as reported by Aruego (Framing
Pascual vs. Secretary of Public Works L-10405, December 29, 1960; Pelaez vs. Auditor of the Constitution, Vol. 1, p. 296, et. seq.), the committee on legislative power in the
General, L-23825, December 24, 1965; Iloilo Palay & Corn Planters Association vs. Feliciano, Constitutional Convention of 1934, before it was decided that the Legislature should be
L-24022, March 3, 1965). Moreover, as stated in 52 Am. Jur., page 5: bicameral in form, initially recommended that the increase in the compensation of legislators
should not take effect until the expiration of the term of office of all members of the
The rule that a taxpayer can not, in his individual capacity as such, sue to enjoin an Legislature that approved the increase. The report of the committee read as follows:
unlawful expenditure or waste of state funds is the minority doctrine.
The Senator and Representatives shall receive for their services an annual
On the alleged non-joinder of the members of the Lower House of Congress as parties compensation of four thousand pesos including per diems and other emoluments
defendants, suffice it to say that since the acts sought to be enjoined were the respondents' or allowances and exclusive of travelling expenses to and from their respective
passing in audit and the approval of the payment of the Representatives' increased salaries, residences when attending sessions of the National Legislature, unless otherwise
and not the collection or receipt thereof, only respondent auditors were indispensable or fixed by law: Provided, That no increase in this yearly compensation shall take
proper parties defendant to this action. effect until after the expiration of the terms of office of all the Members of the
Legislature that approved such increase. (Emphasis supplied) .
These preliminary questions out of the way, we now proceed to the main issue: Does Section
14, Art. VI, of the Constitution require that not only the term of all the members of the House The spirit of this restrictive proviso, modified to suit the final choice of a unicameral
but also that of all the Senators who approved the increase must have fully expired before legislature, was carried over and made more rigid in the first draft of the constitutional
the increase becomes effective? Or, on the contrary, as respondents contend, does it allow provision, which read:
the payment of the increased compensation to the members of the House of
Representatives who were elected after the expiration of the term of those House members Provided, That any increase in said compensation shall not take effect until after the
who approved the increase, regardless of the non-expiration of the terms of office of the expiration of the term of office of the Members of the National Assembly who may be
Senators who, likewise, participated in the approval of the increase? elected subsequent to the approval of such increase. (Aruego, 1, p. 297)

It is admitted that the purpose of the provision is to place "a legal bar to the legislators As recorded by the Committee on Style, and as finally approved and enacted, Article VI,
yielding to the natural temptation to increase their salaries. Not that the power to provide section 5, of the Constitution of the Commonwealth, provided that:
for higher compensation is lacking, but with the length of time that has to elapse before an
increase becomes effective, there is a deterrent factor to any such measure unless the need No increase in said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of
for it is clearly felt" (Taada & Fernando, Constitution of the Philippines, Vol. 2, p. 867). the Members of the National Assembly elected subsequent to the approval of such increase.

Significantly, in establishing what might be termed a waiting period before the increased Finally, with the return to bicameralism in the 1940 amendments to our fundamental law,
compensation for legislators becomes fully effective, the constitutional provision refers to the limitation assumed its present form:
"all the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives" in the same sentence,
as a single unit, without distinction or separation between them. This unitary treatment is
emphasized by the fact that the provision speaks of the "expiration of the full term" of the
No increase in said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of If that increase were approved in the session immediately following an election, two
all the Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives approving such increase. assemblymen's terms, of 3 years each, had to elapse under the former limitation in order
that the increase could become operative, because the original Constitution required that
It is apparent that throughout its changes of phraseology the plain spirit of the restriction has the new emolument should operate only after expiration of the term of assemblymen
not been altered. From the first proposal of the committee on the legislative power of the elected subsequently to those who approved it (Art. VI, sec. 5), and an assemblyman's term
1934 Convention down to the present, the intendment of the clause has been to require was then 3 years only. Under the Constitution, as amended, the same interval obtains, since
expiration of the full term of all members of the Legislature that approved the higher Senators hold office for six (6) years.
compensation, whether the Legislature be unicameral or bicameral, in order to circumvent,
as far as possible, the influence of self-interest in its adoption. On the other hand, if the increase of compensation were approved by the legislature on its
last session just prior to an election, the delay is reduced to four (4) years under the original
The Solicitor General argues on behalf of the respondents that if the framers of the 1940 restriction, because to the last year of the term of the approving assemblymen the full 3-year
amendments to the Constitution had intended to require the expiration of the terms not only term of their successors must be added. Once again an identical period must elapse under
of the Representatives but also of the Senators who approved the increase, they would have the 1940 amendment: because one-third of the Senators are elected every two years, so that
just used the expression "term of all the members of the Congress" instead of specifying "all just before a given election four of the approving Senators' full six-year term still remain to
the members of the Senate and of the House". This is a distinction without a difference, since run.
the Senate and the House together constitute the Congress or Legislature. We think that the
reason for specifying the component chambers was rather the desire to emphasize the To illustrate: if under the original Constitution the assemblymen elected in, say, 1935 were to
transition from a unicameral to a bicameral legislature as a result of the 1940 amendments approve an increase of pay in the 1936 sessions, the new pay would not be effective until
to the Constitution. after the expiration of the term of the succeeding assemblymen elected in 1938; i.e., the
increase would not be payable until December 30, 1941, six years after 1935. Under the
It is also contended that there is significance in the use of the words "of the" before "House" present Constitution, if the higher pay were approved in 1964 with the participation of
in the provision being considered, and in the use of the phrase "of the Senate and of Senators elected in 1963, the same would not be collectible until December 30, 1969, since
the House" when it could have employed the shorter expression "of the Senate and the said Senators' term would expire on the latter date.
the House". It was grammatically correct to refer to "the members of the Senate and (the
members) of the House", because the members of the Senate are not members of the But if the assemblymen elected in 1935 (under the original Constitution) were to approve the
House. To speak of "members of the Senate and the House" would imply that the members increase in compensation, not in 1936 but in 1938 (the last of their 3-year term), the new
of the Senate also held membership in the House. compensation would still operate on December 30, 1941, four years later, since the term of
assemblymen elected in November of 1938 (subsequent to the approval of the increase)
The argument that if the intention was to require that the term of office of the Senators, as would end in December 30,1941.
well as that of the Representatives, must all expire the Constitution would have spoken of
the "terms" (in the plural) "of the members of the Senate and of the House", instead of using Again, under the present Constitution, if the increase is approved in the 1965 sessions
"term" in the singular (as the Constitution does in section 14 of Article VI), has been already immediately preceding the elections in November of that year, the higher compensation
considered. As previously observed, the use of the singular form "term" precisely emphasizes would be operative only on December 30, 1969, also four years later, because the most
that in the provision in question the Constitution envisaged both legislative chambers as one recently elected members of the Senate would then be Senators chosen by the electors in
single unit, and this conclusion is reinforced by the expression employed, "until the November of 1963, and their term would not expire until December 30, 1969.
expiration of the full term of ALL the members of the Senate and of the House of
Representatives approving such increase". This coincidence of minimum and maximum delays under the original and the amended
constitution can not be just due to accident, and is proof that the intent and spirit of the
It is finally urged that to require the expiration of the full term of the Senators before the Constitutional restriction on Congressional salaries has been maintained unaltered. But
effectivity of the increased compensation would subject the present members of the House whether designed or not, it shows how unfounded is the argument that by requiring
of Representatives to the same restrictions as under the Constitution prior to its amendment. members of the present House to await the expiration of the term of the Senators, who
It may well be wondered whether this was not, in fact, the design of the framers of the 1940 concurred in approving the increase in compensation, they are placed in a worse position
constitutional amendments. For under either the original limitation or the present one, as than under the Constitution as originally written.
amended, as maximum delay of six (6) years and a minimum of four (4) is necessary before
an increase of legislators' compensation can take effect. The reason for the minimum interval of four years is plainly to discourage the approval of
increases of compensation just before an election by legislators who can anticipate their
reelection with more or less accuracy. This salutary precaution should not be nullified by
resorting to technical and involved interpretation of the constitutional mandate.

In resume, the Court agrees with petitioners that the increased compensation provided by
Republic Act No. 4134 is not operative until December 30, 1969, when the full term of all
members of the Senate and House that approved it on June 20, 1964 will have expired.
Consequently, appropriation for such increased compensation may not be disbursed until
December 30, 1969. In so far as Republic Act No. 4642 (1965-1966 Appropriation Act)
authorizes the disbursement of the increased compensation prior to the date aforesaid, it
also violates the Constitution and must be held null and void.

In view of the foregoing, the writ of prohibition prayed for is hereby granted, and the items
of the Appropriation Act for the fiscal year 1965-1966 (Republic Act No. 4642) purporting to
authorize the disbursement of the increased compensation to members of the Senate and
the House of Representatives even prior to December 30, 1969 are declared void, as violative
of Article VI, section 14, of the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines; and the
respondents, the Auditor General and the Auditor of the Congress of the Philippines, are
prohibited and enjoined from approving and passing in audit any disbursements of the
increased compensation authorized by Republic Act No. 4134 for Senators and members of
the House of Representatives, before December 30, 1969. No costs.

We concur in the foregoing opinion and in the concurring opinions of Justices Bengzon,
Zaldivar and Castro.

Concepcion, C.J., Barrera, Dizon, Regala, Makalintal and Sanchez, JJ., concur.
G.R. No. L-34676 April 30, 1974 provided by Republic Act No. 4134 is not operative until December 30, 1969when the full
term of all members of the Senate and House that approved it on June 20, 1964 will have
BENJAMIN T. LIGOT, petitioner, expired" by virtue of the constitutional mandate in Section 14, Article VI of the 1935
vs. Constitution which provides that "No increase in said compensation shall take effect until
ISMAEL MATHAY, Auditor General and JOSE V. VELASCO, Auditor, Congress of the after the expiration of the full term of all the members of the Senate and of the House of
Philippines, respondents. Representatives approving such increase."

Maximo A. Savellano, Jr. for petitioner. Petitioner lost his bid for a consecutive fourth term in the 1969 elections and his term having
expired on December 30, 1969, filed a claim for retirement under Commonwealth Act 186,
section 12 (c) as amended by Republic Act 4968 which provided for retirement gratuity of
Office of the Solicitor General, for respondent.
any official or employee, appointive or elective, with a total of at least twenty years of
service, the last three years of which are continuous on the basis therein provided "in case of
employees based on the highest rate received and in case of elected officials on the rates of
pay as provided by law." 2
TEEHANKEE, J.:p
On May 8, 1970, the House of Representatives issued a treasury warrant in the sum of
The Court dismisses the petition for review and thereby affirms the Auditor-General's P122,429.86 in petitioner's favor as his retirement gratuity, using the increased salary of
decision that petitioner as a Congressman whose term of office expired on December 30, P32,000.00 per annum of members of Congress which he never received during his
1969 and qualified for retirement benefits by virtue of a minimum of twenty years of incumbency and which under this Court's above-quoted decision in Philconsa vs.
government service is entitled to a retirement gratuity based on the salary actually received Mathay could become operative only on December 30, 1969 with the expiration of the full
by him as a member of Congress of P7,200.00 per annum. To grant petitioner's contention terms of all members of Congress that approved on June 20, 1964 such increased salary.
that the retirement gratuity of members of Congress; such as himself whose
terms expired on December 30, 1969 should be computed on the basis of an increased salary Respondent Velasco as Congress Auditor did not sign the warrant, however, pending
of P32,000.00 per annum under Republic Act 4134 which could only by operative with resolution by the Auditor General of a similar claim filed by former Representative Melanio T.
incoming members of Congress whose terms of office would commence on December 30, Singson, whose term as Congressman likewise expired on December 30, 1969.
1969, by virtue of the Constitutional mandate that such salary increases could take effect
only upon the expiration of the full term of all members of Congress that approved on June
On July 22, 1970, respondent auditor Velasco formally requested petitioner to return the
20, 1964 such increased salary, (since petitioner and other outgoing members of Congress
warrant and its supporting papers for a recomputation of his retirement claim, enclosing
were constitutionally prohibited from receiving such salary increase during their term of
therewith copy of the Auditor General's adverse decision on ex-Congressman Singson's claim
office) would be a subtle way of going around the constitutional prohibition and increasing in
for retirement gratuity as computed on the basis of the salary increase of P32,000.00 per
effect their compensation during their term of office and of doing indirectly what could not
annum for members of Congress under Republic Act No. 4134.
be done directly.

Petitioner's request for reconsideration was denied in due course on January 20, 1972, by the
Petitioner served as a member of the House of Representatives of the Congress of the
Auditor General through respondent Auditor who further advised petitioner and furnished
Philippines for three consecutive four-year terms covering a twelve-year span from
him with copy of the 2nd indorsement of June 29, 1971, of the Office of the President,
December 30, 1957 to December 30, 1969.
dismissing the appeal of Congressman Singson from the Auditor General's adverse decision
disallowing the claim for retirement gratuity, computed on a salary basis of P32,000.00 per
During his second term in office (1961-1965), Republic Act No. 4134 "fixing the salaries of annum.
constitutional officials and certain other officials of the national government" was enacted
into law and under section 7 thereof took effect on July 1, 1964. The salaries of members of
Hence the present petition for review by way of appeal from the adverse decision of the
Congress (senators and congressman) were increased under said Act from P7,200.00 to
Auditor General.
P32,000.00 per annum, but the Act expressly provided that said increases "shall take effect in
accordance with the provisions of the Constitution." (section 1)
The thrust of petitioner's appeal is that his claim for retirement gratuity computed on the
basis of the increased salary of P32,000.00 per annum for members of Congress (which was
Petitioner was re-elected to a third term (December 30, 1965 to December 30, 1969) but was
not applied to him during his incumbency which ended December 30, 1969, while the Court
held not entitled to the salary increase of P32,000.00 during such third term by virtue of this
held in Philconsa vs. Mathay that such increases would become operative only for members
Court's unanimous decision in Philconsa vs. Mathay 1 "that the increased compensation
of Congress elected to serve therein commencing December 30, 1969) should not have been
disallowed, because at the time of his retirement, the increased salary for members of Representatives, to take effect upon the approval of said Act, which was on June 22,
Congress "as provided by law" (under Republic Act 4134) was already P32,000.00 per annum. 1963. Retirement benefits were immediately available thereunder, without awaiting the
expiration of the full term of all the Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives
Petitioner's contention is untenable for the following reasons: approving such increase. Such provision clearly runs counter to the prohibition in Article VI,
section 14 of the Constitution." 6
1. Since the salary increase to P32,000.00 per annum for members of Congress under
Republic Act 4134 could be operative only from December 30, 1969 for incoming members of It is thus correctly submitted by the Solicitor General that "(T)o allow petitioner a retirement
Congress when the full term of all members of Congress (House and Senate) that approved gratuity computed on the basis of P32,000.00 per annum would be a subtle way of increasing
the increase (such as petitioner) will have expired, by virtue of the constitutional mandate of his compensation during his term of office and of achieving indirectly what he could not
Article VI, section 14 of the 1935 Constitution, it is self-evident that the "rate of pay as obtain directly."
provided by law" for members of Congress retiring on December 30, 1969 such as petitioner
must necessarily be P7,200.00 per annum, the compensation they received "as provided by 4. The other ancillary contentions of petitioner in pressing his claim were amply refuted by
law" and the Constitution during their term of office. the Office of the President in dismissing the appeal in the similar case of ex-Congressman
Singson and therefore likewise serve to show the untenability of petitioner's stand in this
2. To grant retirement gratuity to members of Congress whose terms expired on December appeal, mutatis mutandis, as follows:
30, 1969 computed on the basis of an increased salary of P32,000.00 per annum (which they
were prohibited by the Constitution from receiving during their term of office) would be to It is evident, therefore, that the increased compensation of P32,000 is the
pay them prohibited emoluments which in effect increase the salary beyond that which they rate of pay prescribed by Republic Act No. 4134 for Mr. Singson's
were permitted by the Constitution to receive during their incumbency. As stressed by the successor in office, while Mr. Singson and his colleagues of the same term
Auditor General in his decision in the similar case of petitioner's colleague, ex-Congressman are limited to the annual compensation of P7,200 fixed in the
Singson, "(S)uch a scheme would contravene the Constitution for it would lead to the same Constitution. To compute his retirement gratuity at the rate of P32,000
prohibited result by enabling administrative authorities to do indirectly what can not be done per annum after the expiration of his term of office would effectively give
directly." 3 him the benefits of increased compensation to which he was not entitled
during his term, thereby violating the constitutional prohibition against
The Auditor-General further aptly observed that "(I)t should not escape notice that during his increased compensation of legislators during their term of office (Sec. 14,
entire tenure as Congressman (Dec. 30, 1965 to December 30, 1969) comprising the last four Art. VI, Const.) which was presumably in the mind of Congress when it
years of his government service, the herein claimant-retiree was unable to receive the stated in Republic Act No. 4134 that "the salary increases herein fixed
increased salary of P32,000.00 per annum for Members of Congress precisely because of the shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
,constitutional ban. To allow him now to collect such amount in the guise of retirement
gratuity defies logic. Nor does it stand to reason that while he could not legally receive such xxx xxx xxx
rate as salary while still in the service, he would now be allowed to enjoy it thereafter by
virtue of his retirement." 4 Neither an argument of logic nor a judicial pronouncement supports the
proposition that, as Mr. Singson's retirement legally started
3. Petitioner's contention that since the increased salary of P32,000.00 per annum was simultaneously with the beginning of the term of his successor and the
already operative when his retirement took effect on December 30, 1969, his retirement effective rate of pay of his successor and all incoming members of
gratuity should be based on such increased salary cannot be sustained as far as he and other Congress was already the new rate of P32,000 per annum, it is this new
members of Congress similarly situated whose term of office ended on December 30, 1969 rate of pay that should be made the basis in computing his retirement
are concerned for the simple reason that a retirement gratuity or benefit is a form of gratuity. Suffice it to say that P7,200 per annum is Mr. Singson's
compensation within the purview of the Constitutional provision limiting their compensation authorized compensation during his term of office and, therefore, the
and "other emoluments" to their salary as provided by law. rate of pay prescribed by law for him on his retirement, while P32,000
per annum is the allowable compensation of incoming members of
This was the clear teaching of Philconsa vs. Jimenez. 5 In striking down Republic Act No. 3836 Congress during their term and, hence, the rate of pay prescribed by law
as null and void insofar as it referred to the retirement of members of Congress and the for them on their retirement. There is, then, no basis for equating a
elected officials thereof for being violative of the Constitution, this Court held that "it is constitutionally prohibited compensation for Mr. Singson with a statutory
evident that retirement benefit is a form or another species of emolument, because it is prescribed rate of pay for his successor in computing his retirement
a part of compensation for services of one possessing any office" and that "Republic Act No. gratuity.
3836 provides for an increase in the emoluments of Senators and Members of the House of
It is likewise contended by Mr. Singson that the new rate of pay (P32,000)
authorized him Republic Act No. 4134 would be used in the instant case,
not to compensate him for services during the constitutionally prohibited
period, but would simply serve as basis for computing his retirement
gratuity for services rendered by him not only as a member of Congress
but in other branches of the government as well. The foregoing
contention carries its own refutation. Retirement benefit is compensation
for services rendered (PHILCONSA VS. GIMENEZ, supra). Since Mr.
Singson applied for retirement as an "elected official," it is evident that
he seeks compensation not only for services rendered in other branches
of the Government but also for his services as member of Congress using
P32,000, an amount prohibited for him but allowed for his successor, in
the computation of his retirement gratuity." 7

ACCORDINGLY, the petition is hereby dismissed. No costs.

Makalintal, C.J., Castro, Esguerra and Muoz Palma, JJ., concur.

Makasiar, J., is on leave.


G.R. No. 189600 June 29, 2010 In the matter of private respondents shift of affiliation from CIBACs youth sector to its
overseas Filipino workers and their families sector, public respondent held that Section 15 of
MILAGROS E. AMORES, Petitioner, RA No. 7941 did not apply as there was no resultant change in party-list affiliation.
vs.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL and EMMANUEL JOEL J. Her Motion for Reconsideration having been denied by Resolution No. 09-130 dated August
VILLANUEVA,Respondents. 6, 2009,4 petitioner filed the present Petition for Certiorari.5

DECISION Petitioner contends that, among other things, public respondent created distinctions in the
application of Sections 9 and 15 of RA No. 7941 that are not found in the subject provisions,
CARPIO MORALES, J.: fostering interpretations at war with equal protection of the laws; and NBC Resolution No.
07-60, which was a partial proclamation of winning party-list organizations, was not enough
basis for private respondent to assume office on July 10, 2007, especially considering that he
Via this petition for certiorari, Milagros E. Amores (petitioner) challenges the Decision of May
admitted receiving his own Certificate of Proclamation only on December 13, 2007.
14, 2009 and Resolution No. 09-130 of August 6, 2009 of the House of Representatives
Electoral Tribunal (public respondent), which respectively dismissed petitioners Petition for
Quo Warranto questioning the legality of the assumption of office of Emmanuel Joel J. In his Comment,6 private respondent avers in the main that petitioner has not substantiated
Villanueva (private respondent) as representative of the party-list organization Citizens her claims of grave abuse of discretion against public respondent; and that he became a
Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) in the House of Representatives, and denied petitioners member of the overseas Filipinos and their families sector years before the 2007 elections.
Motion for Reconsideration.
It bears noting that the term of office of party-list representatives elected in the May, 2007
In her Petition for QuoWarranto1 seeking the ouster of private respondent, petitioner elections will expire on June 30, 2010. While the petition has, thus, become moot and
alleged that, among other things, private respondent assumed office without a formal academic, rendering of a decision on the merits in this case would still be of practical value. 7
proclamation issued by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC); he was disqualified to be a
nominee of the youth sector of CIBAC since, at the time of the filing of his certificates of The Court adopts the issues framed by public respondent, to wit: (1) whether petitioners
nomination and acceptance, he was already 31 years old or beyond the age limit of 30 Petition for Quo Warranto was dismissible for having been filed unseasonably; and (2)
pursuant to Section 9 of Republic Act (RA) No. 7941, otherwise known as the Party-List whether Sections 9 and 15 of RA No. 7941 apply to private respondent.
System Act; and his change of affiliation from CIBACs youth sector to its overseas Filipino
workers and their families sector was not effected at least six months prior to the May 14, On the first issue, the Court finds that public respondent committed grave abuse of
2007 elections so as to be qualified to represent the new sector under Section 15 of RA No. discretion in considering petitioners Petition for Quo Warranto filed out of time. Its counting
7941. of the 10-day reglementary period provided in its Rules8 from the issuance of NBC Resolution
No. 07-60 on July 9, 2007 is erroneous.
Not having filed his Answer despite due notice, private respondent was deemed to have
entered a general denial pursuant to public respondents Rules. 2 To be sure, while NBC Resolution No. 07-60 partially proclaimed CIBAC as a winner in the
May, 2007 elections, along with other party-list organizations,9 it was by no measure a
As earlier reflected, public respondent, by Decision of May 14, 2009,3 dismissed petitioners proclamation of private respondent himself as required by Section 13 of RA No. 7941.
Petition for Quo Warranto, finding that CIBAC was among the party-list organizations which
the COMELEC had partially proclaimed as entitled to at least one seat in the House of Section 13. How Party-List Representatives are Chosen. Party-list representatives shall be
Representatives through National Board of Canvassers (NBC) Resolution No. 07-60 dated July proclaimed by the COMELEC based on the list of names submitted by the respective parties,
9, 2007. It also found the petition which was filed on October 17, 2007 to be out of time, the organizations, or coalitions to the COMELEC according to their ranking in said list.
reglementary period being 10 days from private respondents proclamation.
AT ALL EVENTS, this Court set aside NBC Resolution No. 07-60 in Barangay Association for
Respecting the age qualification for youth sectoral nominees under Section 9 of RA No. 7941, National Advancement and Transparency v. COMELEC10 after revisiting the formula for
public respondent held that it applied only to those nominated as such during the first three allocation of additional seats to party-list organizations.
congressional terms after the ratification of the Constitution or until 1998, unless a sectoral
party is thereafter registered exclusively as representing the youth sector, which CIBAC, a
Considering, however, that the records do not disclose the exact date of private respondents
multi-sectoral organization, is not.
proclamation, the Court overlooks the technicality of timeliness and rules on the merits.
Alternatively, since petitioners challenge goes into private respondents qualifications, it There is likewise no rhyme or reason in public respondents ratiocination that after the third
may be filed at anytime during his term. congressional term from the ratification of the Constitution, which expired in 1998, Section 9
of RA No. 7941 would apply only to sectoral parties registered exclusively as representing the
Qualifications for public office are continuing requirements and must be possessed not only youth sector. This distinction is nowhere found in the law. Ubi lex non distinguit nec nos
at the time of appointment or election or assumption of office but during the officer's entire distinguire debemus. When the law does not distinguish, we must not distinguish. 13
tenure. Once any of the required qualifications is lost, his title may be seasonably
challenged.11 Respecting Section 15 of RA No. 7941, the Court fails to find even an iota of textual support
for public respondents ratiocination that the provision did not apply to private respondents
On the second and more substantial issue, the Court shall first discuss the age requirement shift of affiliation from CIBACs youth sector to its overseas Filipino workers and their families
for youth sector nominees under Section 9 of RA No. 7941 reading: sector as there was no resultant change in party-list affiliation. Section 15 reads:

Section 9. Qualifications of Party-List Nominees. No person shall be nominated as party-list Section 15. Change of Affiliation; Effect. Any elected party-list representative who changes
representative unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, a his political party or sectoral affiliation during his term of office shall forfeit his seat:
resident of the Philippines for a period of not less than one (1)year immediately preceding Provided, That if he changes his political party orsectoral affiliation within six (6) months
the day of the election, able to read and write, a bona fide member of the party or before an election, he shall not be eligible for nomination as party-list representative under
organization which he seeks to represent for at least ninety (90) days preceding the day of his new party or organization. (emphasis and underscoring supplied.)
the election, and is at least twenty-five (25) years of age on the day of the election.
What is clear is that the wording of Section 15 covers changes in both political party and
In case of a nominee of the youth sector, he must at least be twenty-five (25) but not more sectoral affiliation. And the latter may occur within the same party since multi-sectoral party-
than thirty (30) years of age on the day of the election. Any youth sectoral representative list organizations are qualified to participate in the Philippine party-list system. Hence, a
who attains the age of thirty (30) during his term shall be allowed to continue in office until nominee who changes his sectoral affiliation within the same party will only be eligible for
the expiration of his term. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied.) nomination under the new sectoral affiliation if the change has been effected at least six
months before the elections. Again, since the statute is clear and free from ambiguity, it must
be given its literal meaning and applied without attempted interpretation. This is the plain
The Court finds no textual support for public respondents interpretation that Section 9
meaning rule or verba legis, as expressed in the maxim index animi sermo or speech is the
applied only to those nominated during the first three congressional terms after the
index of intention.14
ratification of the Constitution or until 1998, unless a sectoral party is thereafter registered
exclusively as representing the youth sector.
It is, therefore, beyond cavil that Sections 9 and 15 of RA No. 7941 apply to private
respondent.
A cardinal rule in statutory construction is that when the law is clear and free from any doubt
or ambiguity, there is no room for construction or interpretation. There is only room for
application.12 The Court finds that private respondent was not qualified to be a nominee of either the
youth sector or the overseas Filipino workers and their families sector in the May, 2007
elections.
As the law states in unequivocal terms that a nominee of the youth sector must at least be
twenty-five (25) but not more than thirty (30) years of age on the day of the election, so it
must be that a candidate who is more than 30 on election day is not qualified to be a youth The records disclose that private respondent was already more than 30 years of age in May,
sector nominee. Since this mandate is contained in RA No. 7941, the Party-List System Act, it 2007, it being stipulated that he was born in August, 1975.15 Moreover, he did not change his
covers ALL youth sector nominees vying for party-list representative seats. sectoral affiliation at least six months before May, 2007, public respondent itself having
found that he shifted to CIBACs overseas Filipino workers and their families sector only on
March 17, 2007.161avvphi1
As petitioner points out, RA No. 7941 was enacted only in March, 1995. There is thus no
reason to apply Section 9 thereof only to youth sector nominees nominated during the first
three congressional terms after the ratification of the Constitution in 1987. Under this That private respondent is the first nominee of CIBAC, whose victory was later upheld, is of
interpretation, the last elections where Section 9 applied were held in May, 1995 or two no moment. A party-list organizations ranking of its nominees is a mere indication of
months after the law was enacted. This is certainly not sound legislative intent, and could not preference, their qualifications according to law are a different matter.
have been the objective of RA No. 7941.
It not being contested, however, that private respondent was eventually proclaimed as a
party-list representative of CIBAC and rendered services as such, he is entitled to keep the
compensation and emoluments provided by law for the position until he is properly declared
ineligible to hold the same.17

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision dated May 14, 2009 and Resolution No.
09-130 dated August 6, 2009 of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal are SET
ASIDE. Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva is declared ineligible to hold office as a member of the
House of Representatives representing the party-list organization CIBAC.

SO ORDERED.
[G.R. Nos. 132875-76. November 16, 2001] Article 336 of the Revised Penal Code, in relation to Section 5(b) of Republic Act No. 7610,
also known as the Child Abuse Law.

There were six (6) other cases, Criminal Case Nos. 96-1991, 96-1994, 96-1995, 96-1996,
96-1997, and 96-1998, where the accused-appellant was acquitted of the charges of acts of
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs., ROMEO G. JALOSJOS, accused- lasciviousness for failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
appellant.
On December 16, 1996, two (2) informations for the crime of statutory rape; and
DECISION twelve (12) for acts of lasciviousness defined and penalized under Article 336 of the Revised
Penal Code, in relation to Section 5(b) of Republic Act No. 7610, were filed against accused-
YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: appellant. The accusatory portion of said informations for the crime of statutory rape state:

This Court has declared that the state policy on the heinous offense of rape is clear and In Criminal Case No. 96-1985:
unmistakable. Under certain circumstances, some of them present in this case, the offender
may be sentenced to a long period of confinement, or he may suffer death. The crime is an The undersigned, upon prior sworn complaint by the offended party, eleven (11) year old
assault on human dignity. No legal system worthy of the name can afford to ignore the minor ROSILYN DELANTAR, accuses ROMEO JALOSJOS of the crime of RAPE defined and
traumatic consequences for the unfortunate victim and grievous injury to the peace and penalized under Art. 335 (3) of the Revised Penal Code, committed as follows:
good order of the community.[1]

Rape is particularly odious, one which figuratively scrapes the bottom of the barrel of That on or about June 18, 1996 at Room No.1702, Ritz Towers, Makati City, and within the
moral depravity, when committed against a minor.[2] jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge with (sic) eleven year old minor Rosilyn
In view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape where only two persons are usually Delantar against her will, with damage and prejudice.
involved, the testimony of the complainant is always scrutinized with extreme caution.[3]

In the present case, there are certain particulars which impelled the court to devote an CONTRARY TO LAW.[6]
even more painstaking and meticulous examination of the facts on record and a similarly
conscientious evaluation of the arguments of the parties. The victim of rape in this case is a In Criminal Case No. 96-1986:
minor below twelve (12) years of age. As narrated by her, the details of the rape are
mesmerically sordid and repulsive. The victim was peddled for commercial sex by her own
The undersigned, upon prior sworn complaint by the offended party, eleven (11) year old
guardian whom she treated as a foster father. Because the complainant was a willing victim,
minor ROSILYN DELANTAR, accuses ROMEO JALOSJOS of the crime of RAPE defined and
the acts of rape were preceded by several acts of lasciviousness on distinctly separate
penalized under Art. 335 (3) of the Revised Penal Code, committed as follows:
occasions. The accused is also a most unlikely rapist. He is a member of Congress. Inspite of
his having been charged and convicted by the trial court for statutory rape, his constituents
liked him so much that they knowingly re-elected him to his congressional office, the duties That on or about June 20, 1996 at Room No. 1702, Ritz Towers, Makati City, and within the
of which he could not perform. jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge with (sic) eleven year old minor Rosilyn
Statutory rape committed by a distinguished Congressman on an eleven (11) year old Delantar against her will, with damage and prejudice.
commercial sex worker is bound to attract widespread media and public attention. In the
words of accused-appellant, he has been demonized in the press most unfairly, his image CONTRARY TO LAW.[7]
transmogrified into that of a dastardly, ogre, out to get his slimy hands on innocent and nave
girls to satiate his lustful desires.[4] This Court, therefore, punctiliously considered accused-
appellants claim that he suffered invidiously discriminatory treatment. Regarding the above For acts of lasciviousness, the informations[8] under which accused-appellant was
allegation, the Court has ascertained that the extensive publicity generated by the case did convicted were identical except for the different dates of commission on June 14, 1996; June
not result in a mistrial; the records show that the accused had ample and free opportunity to 15, 1996; June 16, 1996; June 20, 1996; June 21, 1996; and June 22, 1996, to wit:
adduce his defenses.
The undersigned, upon prior sworn complaint by the offended party, eleven (11)-year old
This is an appeal from the decision[5] of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 62, in minor ROSILYN DELANTAR accuses ROMEO JALOSJOS of the crime of ACTS OF
Criminal Case Nos. 96-1985 and 96-1986, convicting accused-appellant Romeo Jalosjos of two LASCIVIOUSNESS in relation to Section 5 (b), Article III of Republic Act No. 7610, otherwise
(2) counts of statutory rape, and in Criminal Case Nos. 96-1987, 96-1988, 96-1989, 96-1990, known as the Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination
96-1992, and 96-1993, for six (6) counts of acts of lasciviousness defined and penalized under Act, committed as follows:
That in the evening of June 14, 1996, or thereabout, in Room No. 1702, Ritz Towers, Makati Simplicio and Suarez then discussed the execution of a contract for Rosilyns movie
City, Metro-Manila and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named career. Accused-appellant, on the other hand, said that he would adopt Rosilyn and that the
accused, with lewd design, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously kiss, caress latter would have to live with him in his condominium at the Ritz Towers. Before Simplicio
and fondle said complainant's face, lips, neck, breasts, whole body, and vagina, suck her and Rosilyn went home, accused-appellant gave Rosilyn P2,000.00.
nipples and insert his finger and then his tongue into her vagina, place himself on top of her,
then insert his penis in between her thighs until ejaculation, and other similar lascivious The second time Rosilyn met accused-appellant was at his condominium unit, located
conduct against her will, to her damage and prejudice. at Room 1702, Ritz Towers, Makati City. Accused-appellant and Simplicio discussed the
contract and his plan to finance Rosilyns studies. Accused-appellant gave Simplicio P500.00,
thereafter, Rosilyn, Shandro and Simplicio left.
CONTRARY TO LAW.
The third meeting between Rosilyn and accused-appellant was also at Ritz Towers to
In Criminal Cases Nos. 96-1988; 96-1990; and 96-1993, there were added averments discuss her acting career. Accused-appellant referred the preparation of Rosilyns contract to
that on the different dates, the accused gave the complainant P10,000.00, P5,000.00 and his lawyer, who was also present. After the meeting, Simplicio and Rosilyn left. As they were
P5,000.00 respectively. walking towards the elevator, accused-appellant approached them and gave Rosilyn
P3,000.00.
Upon arraignment on January 29, 1997, accused-appellant refused to enter a
plea. Hence, the trial court entered a plea of not guilty for him. At the trial, the prosecution On June 14, 1996, at about 8:30 to 9:00 p.m., Simplicio and Rosilyn returned to
presented eight (8) main witnesses and seven (7) rebuttal witnesses as well as documentary accused-appellants condominium unit at Ritz Towers. When accused-appellant came out of
evidences marked as Exhibits A to EEEE, inclusive of submarkings. The defense, on the other his bedroom, Simplicio told Rosilyn to go inside the bedroom, while he and accused-
hand presented twenty-six (26) witnesses. Its documentary evidence consists of Exhibits 1 to appellant stayed outside. After a while, accused-appellant entered the bedroom and found
153, inclusive of submarkings. The records of the case are extremely voluminous. Rosilyn watching television. He walked towards Rosilyn and kissed her on the lips, then left
the room again. Simplicio came in and bid her goodbye. Rosilyn told Simplicio that accused-
The Peoples version of the facts, culled mainly from the testimony of the victim, are as appellant kissed her to which Simplicio replied, Halik lang naman.
follows:
Rosilyn was left alone in the bedroom watching television. After some time, accused-
Maria Rosilyn Delantar was a slim, eleven-year old lass with long, straight black hair appellant came in and entered the bathroom. He came out clad in a long white T-shirt on
and almond-shaped black eyes. She grew up in a two-storey apartment in Pasay City under which was printed the word, Dakak. In his hand was a plain white T-shirt. Accused-appellant
the care of Simplicio Delantar, whom she treated as her own father. Simplicio was a fifty-six told Rosilyn that he wanted to change her clothes. Rosilyn protested and told accused-
year old homosexual whose ostensible source of income was appellant that she can do it herself, but accused-appellant answered, Daddy mo naman
selling longganiza and tocino and accepting boarders at his house. On the side, he was also ako.Accused-appellant then took off Rosilyns blouse and skirt. When he was about to take off
engaged in the skin trade as a pimp. her panties, Rosilyn said, Huwag po. Again, accused-appellant told her, After all, I am your
Daddy. Accused-appellant then removed her panties and dressed her with the long white T-
Rosilyn never got to see her mother, though she had known a younger brother,
shirt.
Shandro, who was also under the care of Simplicio. At a very young age of 5, fair and smooth-
complexioned Rosilyn was exposed by Simplicio to his illicit activities. She and her brother The two of them watched television in bed. After sometime, accused-appellant turned
would tag along with Simplicio whenever he delivered prostitutes to his clients. When she off the lamp and the television. He turned to Rosilyn and kissed her lips. He then raised her
turned 9, Rosilyn was offered by Simplicio as a prostitute to an Arabian national known as shirt, touched her breasts and inserted his finger into her vagina. Rosilyn felt pain and cried
Mr. Hammond. Thus begun her ordeal as one of the girls sold by Simplicio for sexual favors. out, Tama na po. Accused-appellant stopped. He continued to kiss her lips and fondle her
breasts. Later, accused-appellant told Rosilyn to sleep.
Rosilyn first met accused-appellant, Romeo Jalosjos, sometime in February 1996 at his
office located near Robinsons Galleria. Rosilyn and Simplicio were brought there and The following morning, Rosilyn was awakened by accused-appellant whom she found
introduced by a talent manager by the name of Eduardo Suarez. Accused-appellant promised bent over and kissing her. He told her to get up, took her hand and led her to the
to help Rosilyn become an actress.When he saw Rosilyn, accused-appellant asked how old bathroom. He removed Rosilyns shirt and gave her a bath. While accused-appellant rubbed
she was. Simplicio answered, 10. She is going to be 11 on May 11. Accused-appellant soap all over Rosilyns body, he caressed her breasts and inserted his finger into her
inquired if Rosilyn knows how to sing. Simplicio told Rosilyn to sing, so she sang the song, Tell vagina. After that, he rinsed her body, dried her with a towel and applied lotion on her arms
Me You Love Me. Accused-appellant then asked if Rosilyn has nice legs and then raised her and legs. Then, he dried her hair and told her to dress up. Rosilyn put on her clothes and
skirt up to the mid-thighs. He asked if she was already menstruating, and Simplicio said went out of the bathroom, while accused-appellant took a shower.
yes. Accused-appellant further inquired if Rosilyn already had breasts. When nobody
answered, accused-appellant cupped Rosilyns left breast. Thereafter, accused-appellant Accused-appellant ate breakfast while Rosilyn stayed in the bedroom watching
assured them that he would help Rosilyn become an actress as he was one of the producers television. When accused-appellant entered the room, he knelt in front of her, removed her
of the TV programs, Valiente and Eat Bulaga. panties and placed her legs on his shoulders. Then, he placed his tongue on her
vagina. Thereafter, he gave Rosilyn P10,000.00 and told his housemaid to take her shopping On June 29, 1996, Rosilyn again went to the Ritz Towers. During that visit, accused-
at Shoemart. When she returned to the Ritz Towers, Simplicio was waiting for her. The two of appellant took photographs of Rosilyn. He asked her to pose with her T-shirt pulled down
them went home.Rosilyn narrated to Simplicio what accused-appellant did to her, and thereby exposing her breasts. He also took her photographs with her T-shirt rolled up to the
pleaded for him not to bring her back to the Ritz Towers. Simplicio told her that everything pelvis but without showing her pubis, and finally, while straddled on a chair facing the
was alright as long as accused-appellant does not have sexual intercourse with her. backrest, showing her legs.

That same evening, at around 9:00 to 9:30 in the evening, Simplicio again brought Before Rosilyn went to sleep, accused-appellant kissed her lips, fondled her breasts and
Rosilyn to the Ritz Towers. After Simplicio left, accused-appellant removed Rosilyns clothes inserted his finger into her vagina. The following morning, she woke up and found the
and dressed her with the same long T-shirt. They watched television for a while, then P5,000.00 left by accused-appellant on the table. She recalled that earlier that morning, she
accused-appellant sat beside Rosilyn and kissed her on the lips. He made Rosilyn lie down, felt somebody caressing her breasts and sex organ.
lifted her shirt above her breasts, and inserted his finger into her vagina. Then, accused-
appellant removed his own clothes, placed his penis between Rosilyns thighs and made On July 2, 1996 at 7:00 p.m., Rosilyn and Simplicio returned to the Ritz Towers. Rosilyn
thrusting motions until he ejaculated on her thighs. Thereafter, accused-appellant kissed her had to wait for accused-appellant, who arrived between 12:00 to 1:00 a.m. He again dressed
and told her to sleep. her with the long white shirt similar to what he was wearing. While sitting on the bed,
accused-appellant kissed her lips and inserted his tongue into her mouth. He then fondled
The next day, June 16, 1996, accused-appellant roused her from sleep and bathed her breasts and inserted his finger into her vagina, causing her to cry in pain. Accused-
her. Again, he rubbed soap all over her body, washed her hair, and thereafter rinsed her appellant stopped and told her to sleep.
body and dried her hair. While accused-appellant was bathing Rosilyn, he asked her to fondle
his penis while he caressed her breasts and inserted his finger into her vagina. After their The next morning, accused-appellant bathed her again. While he soaped her body, he
shower, accused-appellant ate breakfast. He gave Rosilyn P5,000.00 and told her to just wait fondled her breasts and inserted his finger in her vagina. Rosilyn felt pain and shoved his
for Simplicio in the condominium unit. On their way home, Simplicio told Rosilyn that if hand away. After bathing her, accused-appellant had breakfast. Before he left, he gave
accused-appellant tries to insert his penis into her vagina, she should refuse. Rosilyn P5,000.00. As soon as Simplicio arrived, Rosilyn gave her the money and then they
left for school.
At around 8:00 p.m. of June 18, 1996, Simplicio brought Rosilyn to the Ritz
Towers. They found accused-appellant sitting on the bed in his bedroom.Simplicio told On July 20, 1996, Simplicio again brought Rosilyn to the Ritz Towers. Accused-appellant
Rosilyn to approach accused-appellant, then he left. Accused-appellant took off Rosilyns was waiting in his bedroom. He took off Rosilyns clothes, including her panties, and dressed
clothes and dressed her with a long T-shirt on which was printed a picture of accused- her with a long T-shirt similar to what he was wearing. After watching television, accused-
appellant and a woman, with the caption, Cong. Jalosjos with his Toy. They watched appellant kissed Rosilyn on the lips, inserted his tongue in her mouth and fondled her
television for a while, then accused-appellant lay beside Rosilyn and kissed her on the lips. He breasts. Then, he made Rosilyn lie on the bed, spread her legs apart and placed a pillow
raised her shirt and parted her legs. He positioned himself between the spread legs of under her back. He inserted his finger in her vagina and mounted himself between her legs
Rosilyn, took off his own shirt, held his penis, and poked and pressed the same against with his hands rested on her sides. After that, he lifted his shirt, then pointed and pressed his
Rosilyns vagina. This caused Rosilyn pain inside her sex organ.Thereafter, accused-appellant penis against her vagina. Accused-appellant made thrusting motions, which caused Rosilyn
fondled her breasts and told her to sleep. pain. Thereafter, accused-appellant told her to sleep.

When Rosilyn woke up the following morning, June 19, 1996, accused-appellant was no In the early morning of July 21, 1996, Rosilyn felt somebody touching her sex organ,
longer around but she found P5,000.00 on the table. Earlier that morning, she had felt but she did not wake up. When she woke up later, she found P5,000.00 on the table, and she
somebody touching her private parts but she was still too sleepy to find out who it gave this to Simplicio when he came to fetch her.
was. Rosilyn took a bath, then went off to school with Simplicio, who arrived to fetch her. On August 15, 1996, Rosilyn and Simplicio went to the Ritz Towers at around 7:00
The next encounter of Rosilyn with accused-appellant was on June 21, 1996, at about p.m. Accused-appellant was about to leave, so he told them to come back later that
9:00 oclock in the evening in his bedroom at the Ritz Towers.Accused-appellant stripped her evening. The two did not return.
naked and again put on her the long shirt he wanted her to wear. After watching television The following day, Rosilyn ran away from home with the help of Yamie Estreta, one of
for a while, accused-appellant knelt beside Rosilyn, raised her shirt, caressed her breasts and their boarders. Yamie accompanied Rosilyn to the Pasay City Police, where she executed a
inserted his finger into her vagina. Then, he clipped his penis between Rosilyns thighs, and sworn statement against Simplicio Delantar. Rosilyn was thereafter taken to the custody of
made thrusting motions until he ejaculated. Thereafter, Rosilyn went to sleep. the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The National Bureau of
The next day, June 22, 1996, Rosilyn was awakened by accused-appellant who was Investigation (NBI) conducted an investigation, which eventually led to the filing of criminal
kissing her and fondling her sex organ. She, however, ignored him and went back to charges against accused-appellant.
sleep. When she woke up, she found the P5,000.00 which accused-appellant left and gave On August 23, 1996, Rosilyn was examined by Dr. Emmanuel L. Aranas at Camp
the same to Simplicio Delantar, when the latter came to pick her up. Crame. The examination yielded the following results:
EXTERNAL AND EXTRAGENITAL On June 30, 1996, accused-appellant alleges that he attended a city-wide consultation
with his political leaders at the Blue Room of Dakak, which lasted till the afternoon. In the
Fairly developed, fairly nourished and coherent female subject. Breasts are conical with evening, he went home and slept in the Barangay House.
pinkish brown areola and nipples from which no secretions could be pressed out. Abdomen is On July 1, 1996, he attended the whole day celebration of Dipolog Day. He spent the
flat and soft night in the Barangay House.

GENITAL On July 2, 1996, he attended the inauguration of the reception hall of Dakak Beach
Resort. The blessing ceremony was officiated by Assistant Parish Priest Adelmo Laput.
There is moderate growth of pubic hair. Labia majora are full, convex and coaptated with the On July 3, 1996, he was the guest in the inaguration of the 3rd Engineering District of
pinkish brown labia minora presenting in between. On separating the same disclosed an Dapitan City. After the mass, he visited the Jamboree site in Barangay Taguilon, Dapitan City.
elastic, fleshy type hymen, with shallow healed laceration at 3 o'clock position and deep
healed laceration at 8 o'clock position. External vaginal orifice offers moderate resistance to He further contended that after his arrival in Dipolog on June 28, 1996, there was never
the introduction of the examining index finger and the virgin sized vaginal speculum.Vaginal an instance when he went to Manila until July 9, 1996, when he attended a conference called
canal is narrow with prominent rugosities. Cervix is firm and closed. by the President of the Philippines.

Accused-appellant likewise alleged that on July 21, 1996, he took the 5:00 a.m. flight of
CONCLUSION: PAL from Manila to Dumaguete City. From there, he was flown by a private plane to Dipolog,
where he stayed until the President of the Philippines arrived.
Subject is in non-virgin state physically.
To buttress the theory of the defense, Dominador Jun Jalosjos testified that he was the
one, and not accused-appellant, whom Rosilyn met on three occasions. These occurred once
There are no external signs of application of any form of violence.[9] during the first week of May 1996, at accused-appellants Dakak office where Rosilyn and
Simplicio Delantar were introduced to him by Eduardo Suarez, and twice at the Ritz Towers
During the trial, accused-appellant raised the defense of denial and alibi. He claimed when he interviewed Rosilyn, and later when Rosilyn and Simplicio followed up the proposed
that it was his brother, Dominador Jun Jalosjos, whom Rosilyn had met, once at accused- entry of Rosilyn into the show business.
appellants Dakak office and twice at the Ritz Towers. Accused-appellant insisted that he was
in the province on the dates Rosilyn claimed to have been sexually abused. He attributed the Dominadors admission of his meetings with Rosilyn on three instances were limited to
filing of the charges against him to a small group of blackmailers who wanted to extort interviewing her and assessing her singing and modeling potentials. His testimony made no
money from him, and to his political opponents, particularly Ex-Congressman Artemio Adaza, mention of any sexual encounter with Rosilyn.
who are allegedly determined to destroy his political career and boost their personal agenda. After trial, the court rendered the assailed decision, the dispositive portion of which
More specifically, accused-appellant claims that on June 16, 1996, he was on the reads:
Philippine Airlines (PAL) 9:40 a.m. flight from Manila to Dipolog.He stayed in Dipolog until
June 18, 1996. He submitted in evidence airline ticket no. 10792424,[10] showing that he was WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered as follows:
on board Flight PR 165; the said flights passengers manifest,[11] where the name
JALOSJOS/RM/MR appears; and photographs showing accused-appellants constituents 1. In Criminal Cases Nos. 96-1985 and 96-1986, the prosecution has proven beyond
welcoming his arrival and showing accused-appellant talking with former Mayor Hermanico reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused, ROMEO JALOSJOS y GARCIA, as principal in the
Carreon and Fiscal Empainado. two (2) counts of statutory rape defined and penalized under Article 335 of the Revised Penal
Code. He is hereby declared CONVICTED in each of these cases.
Accused-appellant further alleges that on June 28, 1996, he again took the 9:40 a.m.
flight from Manila to Dipolog City. On the same flight, he met Armando Nocom of the
Philippine Daily Inquirer. Upon arrival and after talking to his representatives, he proceeded 2. Accordingly, he is sentenced to:
to his residence known as Barangay House in Taguinon, Dapitan, near Dakak Beach resort,
and spent the night there. 2a. suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua in each of these cases.
On June 29, 1996, accused-appellant attended the fiesta at Barangay San Pedro. He
stayed in the house of Barangay Captain Mila Yap until 5:30 p.m.Then, together with some 2b. indemnify the victim, MA. ROSILYN DELANTAR, in the amount of FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS
friends, he visited the Rizal Shrine and the Pirate Bar at Dakak Beach Resort. Thereafter, he (P50,000.00) as moral damages for each of the cases.
retired in the Barangay House in Taguilon.
3. In Criminal Cases Nos. 96-1987, 96-1988, 96-1989, 96-1990, 96-1992 and 96-1993, the THE TRIAL COURT GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN RULING THAT THE PRIVATE COMPLAINANT
prosecution has proven beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused, ROMEO JALOSJOS WAS A MINOR LESS THAN TWELVE YEARS OF AGE WHEN THE CLAIMED INCIDENTS
y GARCIA, as principal in six (6) counts of acts of lasciviousness defined under Article 336 of ALLEGEDLY TOOK PLACE.
the Revised Penal Code and penalized under Section 5 (b) of R.A. 7610 otherwise known as
the Child Abuse Law. He is hereby declared CONVICTED in each of these cases; E.

4. Accordingly he is sentenced to: THE TRIAL COURT GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN FINDING THAT RAPE WAS COMMITTED
AGAINST THE PRIVATE COMPLAINANT.[13]
4.a. suffer in each of the cases an indeterminate prison term of from eight (8) years, eight (8)
months and one (1) day of prision mayor in its medium period, as maximum, to fifteen (15) In this jurisdiction, the testimony of the private complainant in rape cases is scrutinized
years, six (6) months and twenty (20) days of reclusion temporal in its medium period, as with utmost caution. The constitutional presumption of innocence requires no less than
maximum; moral certainty beyond any scintilla of doubt. This applies with more vigor in rape cases
where the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and is not
4.b. indemnify the victim, MA ROSILYN DELANTAR, in the amount of TWENTY THOUSAND allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence of the defense. As an inevitable
(P20,000.00) as moral damages for each of the cases; consequence, it is the rape victim herself that is actually put on trial. The case at bar is no
exception. Bent on destroying the veracity of private complainants testimony, the errors
5. In Criminal Case Nos. 96-1991, 96-1994, 96-1995, 96-1996, 96-1997 and 96-1998, the assigned by accused-appellant, particularly the first three, are focused on the issue of
prosecution has failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused, ROMEO credibility.
JALOSJOS y GARCIA, in six (6) counts of acts of lasciviousness. Therefore, on the ground of Accused-appellant makes much of his acquittal in Criminal Case Nos. 96-1991, 96-1994,
reasonable doubt, the accused in these cases is hereby ACQUITTED. 96-1995, 96-1996, 96-1997, and 96-1998, for acts of lasciviousness. According to him, the
fact that the trial court sustained his defense of alibi in the said cases only shows that Rosilyn
SO ORDERED.[12] concocted her stories and the rest of her testimony ought not to be believed. Stated
differently, accused-appellant urges the application of the doctrine of "falsus in uno falsus in
Hence, the instant appeal. Accused-appellant contends: omnibus (false in part, false in everything).[14]

A. The contention is without merit. Falsus in uno falsus in omnibus is not an absolute rule
of law and is in fact rarely applied in modern jurisprudence. [15] Thus, in People v. Yanson-
Dumancas,[16] citing People v. Li Bun Juan,[17] this Court held that:
THE TRIAL COURT GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT
BASED ON TESTIMONY OF THE PRIVATE COMPLAINANT, CONSIDERING THE
ATTENDANT INDICIA OF INCONSISTENCIES AND UNTRUTHS. ... In this connection it must be borne in mind that the principle falsus in uno falsus in
omnibus is not an absolute one, and that it is perfectly reasonable to believe the testimony
of a witness with respect to some facts and disbelieve it with respect to other facts. In People
B.
vs. Keller, 46 O.G. No. 7, pp. 3222-3223, the following was quoted with approval by the Court
of Appeals from 1 Moore on Facts, p. 23:
THE TRIAL COURT GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN DISREGARDING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE
CONFLICTING STATEMENTS GIVEN BY THE PRIVATE COMPLAINANT.
18. Testimony may be partly credited and partly rejected. --- Trier of facts are not bound to
believe all that any witness has said; they may accept some portions of his testimony and
C. reject other portions, according to what seems to them, upon other facts and circumstances
to be the truth Even when witnesses are found to have deliberately falsified in some material
THE TRIAL COURT GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN DISREGARDING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF particulars, the jury are not required to reject the whole of their uncorroborated testimony,
PRIVATE COMPLAINANTS FAILURE TO IDENTIFY THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT. but may credit such portions as they deem worthy of belief. (p. 945)[18]

D. Being in the best position to discriminate between the truth and the falsehood, the
trial court's assignment of values and weight on the testimony of Rosilyn should be given
credence. Significantly, it should be borne in mind that the issue at hand hinges on credibility,
the assessment of which, as oft-repeated, is best made by the trial court because of its
untrammeled opportunity to observe her demeanor on the witness stand.
On the demeanor and manner of testifying shown by the complainant, the trial court It must be stressed that rape is a technical term, the precise and accurate definition of
stated: which could not have been understood by Rosilyn. Indeed, without the assistance of a
lawyer, who could explain to her the intricacies of rape, she expectedly could not distinguish
Guided by the foregoing principles, this court found no reason why it should not believe in her affidavits and consequently disclose with proficient exactitude the act or acts of
Rosilyn when she claimed she was raped. Testimonies of rape victims especially those who accused-appellant that under the contemplation of law constitute the crime of rape. This is
are young and immature deserve full credence (People v. Liquiran, 228 SCRA 62 (1993) especially true in the present case where there was no exhaustive and clear-cut evidence of
considering that no woman would concoct a story of defloration, allow an examination of her full and complete penetration of the victims vagina. It may well be that Rosilyn thought, as
private parts and thereafter allow herself to be perverted in a public trial if she was not any layman would probably do, that there must be the fullest penetration of the victims
motivated solely by the desire to have the culprit apprehended and punished. (People v. vagina to qualify a sexual act to rape.
Buyok, 235 SCRA 622 [1996]). In People v. Campuhan,[21] we ruled that rape is consummated by the slightest
penetration of the female organ, i.e., touching of either labia of the pudendum by the penis.
When asked to describe what had been done to her, Rosilyn was able to narrate There need not be full and complete penetration of the victims vagina for rape to be
spontaneously in detail how she was sexually abused. Her testimony in this regard was firm, consummated. There being no showing that the foregoing technicalities of rape was fully
candid, clear and straightforward, and it remained to be so even during the intense and rigid explained to Rosilyn on all those occasions that she was interviewed by the police, the NBI
cross-examination made by the defense counsel.[19] agents and DSWD social workers, she could not therefore be expected to intelligibly declare
that accused-appellants act of pressing his sex organ against her labia without full entry of
Accused-appellant next argues that Rosilyns direct and redirect testimonies were the vaginal canal amounted to rape.
rehearsed and lacking in candidness. He points to the supposed hesitant and even idiotic
In the decision of the trial court, the testimony on one of the rapes is cited plus the
answers of Rosilyn on cross and re-cross examinations. He added that she was trained to give
courts mention of the jurisprudence on this issue, to wit:
answers such as, Ano po?, Parang po, Medyo po, and Sa tingin ko po.
Q: You said that when Congressman Jalosjos inserted his finger into your vagina, your
Accused-appellants arguments are far from persuasive. A reading of the pertinent
back was rested on a pillow and your legs were spread wide apart, what else did he
transcript of stenographic notes reveals that Rosilyn was in fact firm and consistent on the
do?
fact of rape and lascivious conduct committed on her by accused-appellant. She answered in
clear, simple and natural words customary of children of her age. The above phrases quoted A: He lifted his shirt, and held his penis; and again idinikit-dikit niya ang ari niya sa ari
by accused-appellant as uttered by Rosilyn are, as correctly pointed out by the Solicitor ko. (underscoring supplied)
General, typical answers of child witnesses like her.
Q: And, after doing that: Idinikit-dikit niya yong ari niya sa ari ko; what else did he do?
At any rate, even assuming that Rosilyn, during her lengthy ordeals on the witness
stand, may have given some ambiguous answers, they refer merely to minor and peripheral A: After that, Itinutok niya po yong ari niya at idiniin-diin niya ang ari niya sa ari
details which do not in any way detract from her firm and straightforward declaration that ko. (underscoring supplied)
she had been molested and subjected to lascivious conduct by accused-appellant. Moreover,
(pp. 23, 25 to 30, TSN, 16 April 1997)
it should be borne in mind that even the most candid witness oftentimes makes mistakes and
confused statements. At times, far from eroding the effectiveness of the evidence, such
lapses could, indeed, constitute signs of veracity.[20] It is well-entrenched in this jurisdiction that rape can be committed even without full
penetration of the male organ into the vagina of the woman. It is enough that there be proof
Then, too, accused-appellant capitalizes on the alleged absence of any allegation of of the entrance of the male organ within the labia of the pudendum of the female
rape in the five (5) sworn statements executed by Rosilyn as well as in the interviews and organ. (People vs. Mangalino, 182 SCRA 329; People vs. Tismo, 204 SCRA 535; People vs.
case study conducted by the representatives of the DSWD. In particular, accused-appellant Bacani, 181 SCRA 393). Penetration of the penis by entry into the lips of the female organ
points to the following documents: suffices to warrant a conviction. (People vs. Galimba, G.R. No. 111563-64, February 20, 1996
citing People vs. Abonada, 169 SCRA 530). Hence, with the testimony of Rosilyn that the
(1) Sworn statements dated August 22 and 26, 1996, executed before SPO5
accused pressed against (idiniin) and pointed to (itinutok) Rosilyns vagina his sexual organ on
Milagros A. Carrasco of the Pasay City Police;
two (2) occasions, two (2) acts of rape were consummated.[22]
(2) Sworn statements dated September 5, 11, and 19, 1996, executed before NBI
Agents Cynthia L. Mariano and Supervising NBI Agent Arlis E. Vela; Moreover, it must be borne in mind that Rosilyns purpose in executing the affidavits on
August 22 and 26, 1996 before the Pasay City Police was to charge Simplicio Delantar, not
(3) The Initial Interview of Rosilyn by the DSWD dated August 30, 1996; accused-appellant. As aptly pointed out by the trial court, it is preposterous to expect Rosilyn
(4) DSWD Final Case Study Report dated January 10, 1997. to make an exhaustive narration of the sexual abuse of accused-appellant when he was not
the object of the said complaint.
Additionally, Rosilyns statements, given to the NBI on September 11 and 19, 1996, In light of the foregoing, Rosilyns failure to identify accused-appellant out of the 16
concerned mainly the identification of pictures. There was thus no occasion for her to pictures shown to her does not foreclose the credibility of her unqualified identification of
narrate the details of her sexual encounter with accused-appellant. accused-appellant in open court. The same holds true with the subject cartographic sketch
which, incidentally, resembles accused-appellant. As noted by the trial court, accused-
As to the interviews and studies conducted by the DSWD, suffice it to state that said appellant and his brother Dominador Jalosjos have a striking similarity in facial
meetings with Rosilyn were specially focused on the emotional and psychological features. Naturally, if the sketch looks like Dominador, it logically follows that the same
repercussions of the sexual abuse on Rosilyn, and had nothing to do with the legal actions drawing would definitely look like accused-appellant.
being prepared as a consequence thereof.Thus, the documents pertaining to said interviews
and studies cannot be relied upon to reveal every minute aspect of the sexual molestations Likewise, Rosilyns failure to correctly approximate the age of accused-appellant and to
complained of. state that he has a mole on the lower right jaw, cannot affect the veracity of accused-
appellants identification. At a young age, Rosilyn cannot be expected to give the accurate age
At any rate, the inconsistencies between the affidavits and Rosilyns testimony, if at all of a 56 year-old person. As to accused-appellants mole, the Solicitor General is correct in
they existed, cannot diminish the probative value of Rosilyns declarations on the witness contending that said mole is not so distinctive as to capture Rosilyns attention and
stand. The consistent ruling of this Court is that, if there is an inconsistency between the memory.When she was asked to give additional information about accused-appellant,
affidavit of a witness and her testimonies given in open court, the latter commands greater Rosilyn described him as having a prominent belly. This, to our mind, is indeed a more
weight than the former.[23] distinguishing feature that would naturally catch the attention of an eleven year-old child like
In the third assigned error, accused-appellant attempts to impress upon this Court that Rosilyn.
Rosilyn gave the name Congressman Romeo Jalosjos as her abuser only because that was the In his fifth assigned error, accused-appellant insists that the words idinikit,
name given to her by the person to whom she was introduced. That same name, accused- itinutok, and idiniin-diin, which Rosilyn used to describe what accused-appellant did to her
appellant claims, was merely picked up by Rosilyn from the name plate, plaque, and memo vagina with his genitals, do not constitute consummated rape. In addition, the defense
pad she saw on accused-appellants office desk. Accused-appellant presented his brother, argued that Rosilyn did not actually see accused-appellants penis in the supposed sexual
Dominador Jun Jalosjos, in an attempt to cast doubt on his culpability. It was Dominador Jun contact. In fact, they stressed that Rosilyn declared that accused-appellants semen spilled in
Jalosjos who allegedly met and interviewed Rosilyn at the Dakak office. In advancement of her thighs and not in her sex organ.
this theory, accused-appellant cites the fact that out of a total of 16 pictures presented to
Rosilyn for identification, she picked up only 4, which depict Dominador Jun Jalosjos. In the Moreover, in his Reply Brief, accused-appellant, citing People v. Campuhan, argued
same vein, accused-appellant claims that the resulting cartographic sketch from the facial that, assuming that his penis touched or brushed Rosilyns external genitals, the same is not
characteristics given by Rosilyn to the cartographer, resembles the facial appearance of enough to establish the crime of rape.
Dominador Jun Jalosjos. Accused-appellant also points out that Rosilyn failed to give his
correct age or state that he has a mole on his lower right jaw. True, in People v. Campuhan,[26] we explained that the phrase, the mere touching of
the external genitalia by the penis capable of consummating the sexual act is sufficient to
Contrary to the contentions of accused-appellant, the records reveal that Rosilyn constitute carnal knowledge, means that the act of touching should be understood here as
positively and unhesitatingly identified accused-appellant at the courtroom. Such inherently part of the entry of the penis into the labia of the female organ and not mere
identification during the trial cannot be diminished by the fact that in her sworn statement, touching alone of the mons pubis or the pudendum. We further elucidated that:
Rosilyn referred to accused-appellant as her abuser based on the name she heard from the
person to whom she was introduced and on the name she saw and read in accused- The pudendum or vulva is the collective term for the female genital organs that are visible in
appellants office. Verily, a persons identity does not depend solely on his name, but also on the perineal area, e.g., mons pubis, labia majora, labia minora, the hymen, the clitoris, the
his physical features. Thus, a victim of a crime can still identify the culprit even without vaginal orifice, etc. The mons pubis is the rounded eminence that becomes hairy after
knowing his name. Similarly, the Court, in People v. Vasquez,[24] ruled that: puberty, and is instantly visible within the surface. The next layer is the labia majora or the
outer lips of the female organ composed of the outer convex surface and the inner
It matters little that the eyewitness initially recognized accused-appellant only by face [the surface. The skin of the outer convex surface is covered with hair follicles and is pigmented,
witness] acted like any ordinary person in making inquiries to find out the name that while the inner surface is a thin skin which does not have any hairs but has many sebaceous
matched [appellants] face. Significantly, in open court, he unequivocally identified accused- glands. Directly beneath the labia majora is the labia minora. Jurisprudence dictates that the
appellant as their assailant. labia majora must be entered for rape to be consummated, and not merely for the penis to
stroke the surface of the female organ. Thus, a grazing of the surface of the female organ or
Even in the case of People v. Timon,[25] relied upon by accused-appellant to discredit his touching the mons pubis of the pudendum is not sufficient to constitute consummated
identification, this Court said that even assuming that the out-of-court identification of rape. Absent any showing of the slightest penetration of the female organ, i.e.,touching of
accused-appellant was defective, their subsequent identification in court cured any flaw that either labia of the pudendum by the penis, there can be no consummated rape; at most, it
may have initially attended it. can only be attempted rape, if not acts of lasciviousness.[27]
In the present case, there is sufficient proof to establish that the acts of accused- A. I was afraid and then, I cried.
appellant went beyond strafing of the citadel of passion or shelling of the castle of orgasmic
potency, as depicted in the Campuhan case, and progressed into bombardment of the Q. Will you tell the Court why you felt afraid and why you cried?
drawbridge [which] is invasion enough,[28]there being, in a manner of speaking, a conquest of A. Because I was afraid he might insert his penis into my vagina.
the fortress of ignition. When the accused-appellant brutely mounted between Rosilyns
wide-spread legs, unfetteredly touching, poking and pressing his penis against her vagina, Q. And, for how long did Congressman Jalosjos perform that act, which according to
which in her position would then be naturally wide open and ready for copulation, it would you, idinikit-dikit niya yong ari niya sa ari ko?
require no fertile imagination to belie the hypocrisy claimed by accused-appellant that his
penis or that of someone who looked like him, would under the circumstances merely touch COURT:
or brush the external genital of Rosilyn. The inevitable contact between accused-appellants Place the Tagalog words, into the records.
penis, and at the very least, the labia of the pudendum of Rosilyn, was confirmed when she
felt pain inside her vagina when the idiniin part of accused appellants sex ritual was A. Sandali lang po yon.
performed.
Q. What part of your vagina, or ari was being touched by the ari or penis?
The incident on June 18, 1996 was described by Rosilyn as follows:
xxxxxxxxx
PROS. ZUNO:
Q. You said that you felt I withdraw that question. How did you know that Congressman
Q. And, after kissing your lips; after kissing you in your lips, what else did he do? Jalosjos was doing, idinikit-dikit niya yung ari niya sa ari ko?

A. After that, he was lifting my shirt. A. Because I could feel it, sir.

Q. Now, while he was lifting your shirt, what was your position; will you tell the court? Q. Now, you said you could feel it. What part of the vagina in what part of your vagina
was Congressman Jalosjos, according to you, idinikit-dikit niya yong ari niya sa ari
A. I was lying, sir. mo?
Q. Lying on what? A. In front of my vagina, sir.
A. On the bed, sir. Q. In front of your vagina? O.K.; will you tell the Court the position?
Q. And, after lifting your shirt, what else did he do? Will you describe the position of Congressman Jalosjos when he was doing that. Idinikit-
A. He spread my legs sir. dikit niya sa ari ko?

Q. And, after spreading your legs apart; what did he do? A. Ide-demonstrate ko po ba?

A. After that, he lifted his shirt and held his penis. FISCAL ZUNO:

Q. And while he was holding his penis; what did he do? Q. Can you demonstrate?

A. He pressed it in my vagina. xxxxxxxxx

ATTY. FERNANDEZ: A. He was holding me like this with his one hand; and was holding his penis while his
other hand, or his free hand was on the bed.
May we request that the vernacular be used?
xxxxxxxxx
A. Tapos po, idinikit-dikit po niya yong ari niya sa ari ko.
PROS. ZUNO:
PROS. ZUNO:
Now, according to you, you dont know how to say it; or what was done to you. Now, will
May I respectfully move that the word: idinikit-dikit niya ang ari niya sa ari ko, be you tell the Court how can you describe what was done to you?
incorporated?
A. After he dinikit-dikit niya yong ari niya sa ari ko; itinutok naman niya ito.
Q. And while he was doing that; according to you, idinikit-dikit niya ang ari niya sa ari
mo; what did you feel? Q. O.K. you said itinutok niya ito; what else did he do?
PROS. ZUNO: A. After that, he touched my breast, sir.

She is now trying to describe. Q. And, after touching your breast, what did he do?

COURT: A. And after that I felt that he was (witness demonstrating to the court, with her index
finger, rubbing against her open left palm)
Translate.
Q. And after doing that, what else did he do?
A. He seems to be parang idinidiin po niya.
A. After that, he instructed me to go to sleep.
Q. Now, what did you feel, when according to you; as I would quote: parang idinidiin
niya? xxxxxxxxx

A. Masakit po. A. I put down my clothes and then, I cried myself to sleep, sir.

Q. And, just to make it clear in Tagalog: Ano itong idinidiin niya? Q. Why did you cry? Will you tell the court, why did you cried after putting down your
clothes?
COURT:
A. Because I felt pity for myself.
Q. Sabi mo itinutok. Nakita mo bang itinutok?
(Naaawa po ako sa sarili ko.)
A. I saw him na nakaganuon po sa ano niya.
x x x x x x x x x.
PROS. ZUNO:
(Emphasis supplied.)[29]
Q. O.K., clarify. You said nakaganuon siya what do you mean by nakaganuon siya?
Even the July 20, 1996 encounter between Rosilyn and accused-appellant would not
A. He was holding his penis, and then, that was the one which he itinutok sa ari ko. tax the sketchy visualization of the nave and uninitiated to conclude that there was indeed
PROS. ZUNO: penile invasion by accused-appellant of Rosilyns labia. On that occasion, accused-appellant
was similarly ensconced between the parted legs of Rosilyn, except that, this time, Rosilyn
Q. And, when you said idinidiin po niya; to which you are referring? What is this idinidiin was conveniently rested on, and elevated with a pillow on her back while accused-appellant
niya? was touching, poking and pressing his penis against her vagina. Topped with the thrusting
motions employed by accused-appellant, the resulting pain felt by Rosilyn in her sex organ
A. Idinidiin niya ang ari niya sa ari ko. was no doubt a consequence of consummated rape.
Q. And what did you feel when you said: he was idinidiin niya ang ari niya sa ari ko? The pertinent portions of Rosilyns account of the July 20, 1996 incident is as follows:
A. Masakit po. PROS. ZUNO:
COURT: xxxxxxxxx
The answer is masakit po. Q. The moment when Cong. Jalosjos inserted his finger into your vagina, what was your
Proceed. position?

PROS. ZUNO: INTERPRETER:

Q. Where did you feel the pain? The witness is asking he (sic) she has to demonstrate?

A. Inside my ari po. (Sa loob po ng ari ko.) FISCAL ZUNO:

xxxxxxxxx Q. Ipaliwanag mo lang?

PROS. ZUNO: A. My back was rested on a pillow and my legs were spread apart.

Q. And then, after that, what else did he do


Q. You said that when Congressman Jalosjos inserted his finger into your vagina, your passive and even submissive to the lecherous acts of accused-appellant. Thus, even assuming
back was rested on a pillow and your legs were spread wide apart, what else did he that his penis then was flaccid, his act of holding, guiding and assisting his penis with his one
do? hand, while touching, poking and pressing the same against Rosilyn's vagina, would surely
result in even the slightest contact between the labia of the pudendum and accused-
A. He lifted his shirt, and held his penis; and again idinikit-dikit niya ang ari niya sa ari ko. appellant's sex organ.
Q. And what did you feel when he was doing that which according to you and I would Considering that Rosilyn is a self-confessed sex worker, and the circumstances of the
quote in Tagalog: idinikit-dikit niya yong ari niya sa ari ko? alleged sexual assault at bar, the defense argued that it is highly improbable and contrary to
A. I was afraid sir. human experience that accused-appellant exercised a Spartan-like discipline and restrained
himself from fully consummating the sexual act when there was in fact no reason for him not
Q. And, after doing that: idinikit-dikit niya yong ari niya sa ari ko, what else did he do? to do so. In the same light, the defense likewise branded as unnatural the testimony of
Rosilyn that accused-appellant contented himself with rubbing his penis clipped between her
A. After that, itinutok niya po yong ari niya at idiniin-diin niya ang ari niya sa ari ko. thighs until he reached orgasm and desisted from fully penetrating her, when Rosilyn was
Q. You said: Congressman Jalosjos itinutok niya yong ari niya sa ari ko; at idiniin-diin niya then entirely at his disposal.
yong ari niya sa ari ko; Now, while he was doing that act, what was the position of The defense seems to forget that there is no standard form of behavior when it comes
Congressman Jalosjos? to gratifying ones basic sexual instinct. The human sexual perversity is far too intricate for the
A. His two (2) hands were on my side and since my legs were spread apart; he was in- defense to prescribe certain forms of conduct. Even the word perverse is not entirely precise,
between them, and doing an upward and downward movement. as what may be perverse to one may not be to another. Using a child of tender years who
could even pass as ones granddaughter, to unleash what others would call downright bestial
(Witness demonstrated a pushing, or pumping movement) lust, may be utterly nauseating and repulsive to some, but may peculiarly be a festive
celebration of salacious fantasies to others. For all we know, accused-appellant may have
Q. For how long did Congressman Jalosjos perform that act, pushing or pumping
found a distinct and complete sexual gratification in such kind of libidinous stunts and
movement while his penis, or ang ari niya ay nakatutok at idinidiin-diin yong ari
maneuvers.
niya sa ari mo?
Nevertheless, accused-appellant may not have fully and for a longer period penetrated
A. I dont know.
Rosilyn for fear of perpetrating his name through a child from the womb of a minor; or
Q. And what did you feel when Congressman Jalosjos was making that movement, because of his previous agreement with his suking bugaw, Simplicio Delantar, that there
pushing, or pumping? would be no penetration, otherwise the latter would demand a higher price. This may be the
reason why Simplicio Delantar gave his mocking fatherly advice to Rosilyn that it is bad if
A. I felt pain and then I cried. accused-appellant inserts his penis into her sex organ, while at the same time ordering her to
call him if accused-appellant would penetrate her. Such instance of penile invasion would
Q. Where did you feel the pain?
prompt Simplicio to demand a higher price, which is, after all, as the Solicitor General calls it,
A. Inside my vagina, sir. the peculiarity of prostitution.

x x x x x x x x x.[30] The defense contends that the testimony of Rosilyn that accused-appellant ejaculated
on her thighs and not in her vagina, only proves that there was no rape. It should be noted
The childs narration of the rape sequence is revealing. The act of idinikit-dikit niya was that this portion of Rosilyns testimony refers to the June 15 and 21, 1996 charges of acts of
followed by itinutok niya xxx at idiniin-diin niya. The idiniin-diin niya was succeeded lasciviousness, and not the rape charges. In any event, granting that it occurred during the
by Masakit po. Pain inside her ari is indicative of consummated penetration. twin instances of rape on June 18 and July 20, 1996, the ejaculation on the victims thighs
would not preclude the fact of rape.
The environmental circumstances displayed by the graphic narration of what took
place at the appellants room from June 14 to June 16 and June 21 to June 22, 1996 are There is no truth to the contention of the defense that Rosilyn did not see the penis of
consistent with the complainants testimony which shows that rape was legally accused-appellant. As can be gleaned from the above-quoted portions of the transcripts,
consummated. Rosilyn unequivocally testified that accused-appellant held his penis then poked her vagina
with it. And even if she did not actually see accused-appellants penis go inside her, surely she
In the case of People v. Campuhan, the victim put up a resistance --- by putting her legs
could have felt whether it was his penis or just his finger.
close together --- which, although futile, somehow made it inconvenient, if not difficult, for
the accused-appellant to attempt penetration. On the other hand, the ease with which We now come to the issue of whether or not Rosilyn was below twelve (12) years of
accused-appellant herein perpetrated the sexual abuse, not to mention the absence of time age at the time the rape complained of occurred. To bolster the declaration of Rosilyn that
constraint, totally distinguishes the instant case from Campuhan. Here, the victim was she was then eleven years old, the prosecution presented the following documents:
(1) Rosilyns birth certificate showing her birthday as May 11, 1985;[31] (a) That the entry was made by a public officer, or by another person specially
enjoined by law to do so;
(2) Rosilyns baptismal certificate showing her birthday as May 11, 1985;[32]
(b) That it was made by the public officer in the performance of his duties or by
(3) Master List of Live Births stating that Ma. Rosilyn Delantar was born on May such other person in the performance of a duty specially enjoined by law;
11, 1985 to Librada Telen as the mother;[33] and
(4) Marked pages of the Cord Dressing Room Book;[34] (c) That the public office or the other person had sufficient knowledge of the
(5) Summary of the Cord Dressing Book, showing her birthday as May 11, 1985 facts by him stated, which must have been acquired by him personally or
and her parents (Librada Telen and Simplicio Delantar) patient file number through official information.
(39-10-71);[35] In order for a book to classify as an official register and admissible in evidence, it is not
(6) Record of admission showing her parents patient number (39-10-71) and necessary that it be required by an express statute to be kept, nor that the nature of the
confinement at the Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital from May 5-14, 1985.[36] office should render the book indispensable; it is sufficient that it be directed by the proper
authority to be kept. Thus, official registers, though not required by law, kept as convenient
It is settled that in cases of statutory rape, the age of the victim may be proved by the and appropriate modes of discharging official duties, are admissible.[40]
presentation of her birth certificate. In the case at bar, accused-appellant contends that the
birth certificate of Rosilyn should not have been considered by the trial court because said Entries in public or official books or records may be proved by the production of the
birth certificate has already been ordered cancelled and expunged from the records by the books or records themselves or by a copy certified by the legal keeper thereof. [41] It is not
Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 38, in Special Proceedings No. 97-81893, dated April necessary to show that the person making the entry is unavailable by reason of death,
11, 1997.[37] However, it appears that the said decision has been annulled and set aside by absence, etc., in order that the entry may be admissible in evidence, for his being excused
the Court of Appeals on June 10, 1999, in CA-G.R. SP No. 45289.The decision of the Court of from appearing in court in order that public business be not deranged, is one of the reasons
Appeals was appealed to this Court by petition for review, docketed as G.R. No. for this exception to the hearsay rule.[42]
140305. Pending the final outcome of that case, the decision of the Court of Appeals is Corollary thereto, Presidential Decree No. 651, as amended by P.D. No.
presumed valid and can be invoked as prima facie basis for holding that Rosilyn was indeed 766,[43] mandates hospitals to report and register with the local civil registrar the fact of
eleven years old at the time she was abused by accused-appellant. birth, among others, of babies born under their care. Said Decree imposes a penalty of a fine
However, even assuming the absence of a valid birth certificate, there is sufficient and of not less that P500.00 nor more than P1,000.00 or imprisonment of not less than three (3)
ample proof of the complainants age in the records. months nor more than six (6) months, or both, in the discretion of the court, in case of failure
to make the necessary report to the local civil registrar.
Rosilyns Baptismal Certificate can likewise serve as proof of her age. In People v.
Liban,[38] we ruled that the birth certificate, or in lieu thereof, any other documentary Hence, under the above-cited P.D. 651, as amended, in connection with Rule 30,
evidence that can help establish the age of the victim, such as the baptismal certificate, Section 44, of the Rules of Court, it is clear that the Cord Dressing Room Book where the fact
school records, and documents of similar nature, can be presented. of birth, name of the mother and other related entries are initially recorded, as well as the
Master List of Live Births of the hospital, are considered entries in official record, being
And even assuming ex gratia argumenti that the birth and baptismal certificates of indispensable to and appropriate modes of recording the births of children preparatory to
Rosilyn are inadmissible to prove her age, the Master List of Live Births and the Cord Dressing registration of said entries with the local civil registrar, in compliance with a duty specifically
Book of Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital where Rosilyn was born are sufficient evidence to mandated by law.
prove that her date of birth was May 11, 1985. These documents are considered entries in
official records, admissible as prima facie evidence of their contents and corroborative of It matters not that the person presented to testify on these hospital records was not
Rosilyns testimony as to her age. the person who actually made those entries way back in 1985, but Amelita Avenante, the
records custodian of the hospital in 1995. To reiterate, these records may be proved by the
Thus, Rule 130, Section 44, of the Rules of Court states: presentation of the record itself or by a certified copy or the legal keeper thereof. Proof of
the unavailability of the person who made those entries is not a requisite for their
Entries in official records. --- Entries in official records made in the performance of his duty by admissibility. What is important is that the entries testified to by Avenante were gathered
a public officer of the Philippines, or by a person in the performance of a duty especially from the records of the hospital which were accomplished in compliance with a duty
enjoined by law, are prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated. specifically mandated by law.

Therefore, the Cord Dressing Room Book and the Master List of Live Births of the
In Africa v. Caltex, et al., (Phil), Inc., et al.,[39] the Court laid down the requisites for the hospital are admissible as evidence of the facts stated therein.
application of the foregoing rule, thus:
The preparation of these hospital documents preceded that of the birth and baptismal Child Prostitution and other Sexual Abuse. --- Children, whether male or female, who for
certificates of Rosilyn. They establish independent and material facts prepared by unbiased money or profit, or any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult,
and disinterested persons under environmental circumstances apart from those that may syndicate or group, indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct are deemed to be
have attended the preparation of the birth and baptismal certificates. Hence, these hospital children exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse.
records, to reiterate, are sufficient to support the testimony of Rosilyn as to her age.

Consequently, the testimony of Simplicio Delantar that the entries in the birth The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua shall be
certificate of Rosilyn are false and that he merely made them up, particularly her date of imposed upon the following:
birth, was correctly disregarded by the trial court. It should be noted that the criminal
charges for child abuse filed by Rosilyn against him was the direct cause of his xxx xxx xxx
incarceration. This raises a possibility that Simplicio falsely testified in the present case, to get
even with Rosilyn. (b) Those who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with a child
exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse; Provided, That when the victim
Likewise, the trial court correctly disregarded the testimonies of Gloria Binay and
is under twelve (12) years of age, the perpetrators shall be prosecuted under Article 335,
Angelito Intruzo because the defense failed to prove that they were knowledgeable as to the
paragraphs 3, for rape and Article 336 of Act No. 3815, as amended, the Revised Penal Code,
circumstances of Rosilyns birth. Their testimonies consist mainly of observations tending to
for rape or lascivious conduct, as the case may be: Provided, That the penalty for lascivious
show that Rosilyns appearance belie her claim that she was born on May 11, 1985.
conduct when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age shall be reclusion temporal in its
In the four instances of acts of lasciviousness allegedly committed on June 29, June 30, medium period; x x x . (Emphasis supplied.)
July 2, and July 3, 1996 (Criminal Cases Nos. 96-1994, 96-1995, 96-1996, and 96-1997,
respectively), the trial court acquitted accused-appellant on the ground of reasonable doubt In People v. Optana,[44] the Court, citing the case of People v. Larin,[45] explained the
as the defense was able to prove that accused-appellant was not in Manila but either in elements of the offense of violation of Section 5 (b) of R.A. 7610, or the Child Abuse Law, as
Dipolog or Dapitan City at the time the lascivious acts were supposedly committed. The follows:
evidence of the defense established that accused-appellant flew to Dipolog on June 28, 1996,
and stayed there until July 9, 1996. 1. The accused commits the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct.
In Criminal Cases Nos. 96-1991 and 96-1998, for two counts of acts of lasciviousness
allegedly committed both in the early mornings of June 19 and July 21, 1996, Rosilyn merely 2. The said act is performed with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected other sexual
testified that she felt somebody touching her private part but failed to identify the person abuse.
who was performing those lecherous acts as she was too sleepy to wake up. Hence, accused-
appellant was likewise acquitted in these cases on the ground of reasonable doubt. 3. The child, whether male or female, is below 18 years of age.
With respect, however, to the acts of lasciviousness committed in the morning of June
15 and 22, 1996, and in the evening of June 14, 15, 18, and 21, 1996, as well as the rape A child is deemed exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse, when the child
perpetrated on June 18, 1996 and July 20, 1996, accused-appellant failed to account for his indulges in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct (a) for money, profit, or any other
whereabouts. A careful review of the pertinent transcript of stenographic notes reveals that consideration; or (b) under the coercion or influence of any adult, syndicate or group. Under
accused-appellant did not give any testimony as to where he was at the time these crimes RA 7610, children are persons below eighteen years of age or those unable to fully take care
were committed. Clearly, therefore, the trial court correctly disregarded his unsubstantiated of themselves or protect themselves from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation or
defense of denial, which cannot prevail over his positive identification by Rosilyn as the discrimination because of their age or mental disability or condition.
culprit.
Lascivious conduct is defined under Article XIII, Section 32 of the Implementing Rules
As regards the charge of acts of lasciviousness committed in the morning of June 16,
and Regulation of R.A. 7610, as follows:
1996, accused-appellant claimed that it was impossible for him to have committed the same
because he flew to Dipolog on that day. The records disclose, however, that accused-
appellants flight was at 9:40 a.m. The possibility, therefore, of accused-appellants having [T]he intentional touching, either directly or through clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin,
performed the lascivious acts on the victim before he went off to the airport is not at all breast, inner thigh, or buttocks, or the introduction of any object into the genitalia, anus or
precluded. For his failure to prove the physical impossibility of his presence at the Ritz mouth, of any person, whether of the same or opposite sex, with an intent to abuse,
Towers in the morning of June 16, 1996, when the sexual abuse of Rosilyn was committed, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, bestiality,
his defense of alibi must fail. masturbation, lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a person.

Article III, Section 5 of Republic Act No. 7610, states:


In the case at bar, accused-appellants acts of kissing Rosilyn on the lips, fondling her next lower to that prescribed by the Code.[47] However, the trial court erroneously fixed the
breast, inserting his finger into her vagina and placing his penis between her thighs, all minimum term of the indeterminate sentence at eight (8) years, eight (8) months and one (1)
constitute lascivious conduct intended to arouse or gratify his sexual desire. Hence, the trial day of prision mayor in its medium period. In the aforesaid case of Dulla,[48] we held that the
court correctly convicted accused-appellant of violation of Section 5 (b) of R.A. 7610, or the penalty next lower in degree to reclusion temporal medium is reclusion temporal minimum,
Child Abuse Law, in Criminal Cases Nos. 96-1987, 96-1988, 96-1989, 96-1990, 96-1992, and the range of which is from twelve (12) years and one (1) day to fourteen (14) years and eight
96-1993, charging him with the above-described lascivious acts. (8) months. Hence, for violation of Article III, Section 5 (b) of R.A. 7610, accused-appellant
shall suffer the indeterminate sentence of twelve years (12) and one (1) day of reclusion
The penalty for violation of Section 5 (b) of R.A. 7610, or the Child Abuse Law, where temporal, as minimum, to fifteen (15) years, six (6) months and twenty (20) days of reclusion
the victim is below 12 years of age, is reclusion temporal in its medium period. temporal as maximum.
The records show that on at least nine (9) separate occasions, the accused-appellant At the time of commission of the crimes complained of herein in 1996, statutory rape
inserted his finger into the complainants vagina. These insertions took place in 1996. A year was penalized under Section 11 of R.A. 7659, which amended Article 335 of the Revised
later, Congress enacted Republic Act No. 8353, the Anti-Rape law of 1997. It does not apply Penal Code, to wit:
to this case but it indicates state policy on rape. The Revised Penal Code is now amended to
read as follows:
When and how rape is committed. --- Rape is committed by having carnal knowledge of a
woman under any of the following circumstances:
Article 266-A. Rape; When and How Committed. Rape is committed
1. By using force or intimidation;
1. By a man who have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following
circumstances:
2. When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; and

a) Through force, threat or intimidation;


3. When the woman is under twelve years of age or is demented.

b) When the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious;


The crime of rape shall be punished by reclusion perpetua. xxx.

c) By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; and


In statutory rape, mere sexual congress with a woman below twelve years of age
consummates the crime of statutory rape regardless of her consent to the act or lack of
d) When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even though it. The law presumes that a woman of tender age does not possess discernment and is
none of the circumstances mentioned above be present. incapable of giving intelligent consent to the sexual act. Thus, it was held that carnal
knowledge of a child below twelve years old even if she is engaged in prostitution is still
2. By any person who, under any of the circumstances mentioned in paragraph 1 hereof, considered statutory rape. The application of force and intimidation or the deprivation of
shall commit an act of sexual assault by inserting his penis into another persons mouth or reason of the victim becomes irrelevant. The absence of struggle or outcry of the victim or
anal orifice or any instrument or object, into the genital or anal orifice of another even her passive submission to the sexual act will not mitigate nor absolve the accused from
person. (Emphasis supplied.) liability.[49]

In the case at bar, the prosecution established beyond reasonable doubt that accused-
Indicative of the continuing state policy towards rape, the Anti-Rape Law of 1997 now
appellant had carnal knowledge of Rosilyn. Moreover, the prosecution successfully proved
classifies the crime as an offense against persons. Any public prosecutor, not necessarily the
that Rosilyn was only eleven years of age at the time she was sexually abused. As such, the
victim or her parents, can prosecute the case.
absence of proof of any struggle, or for that matter of consent or passive submission to the
The penalties for the crime of rape in the light of various circumstances, which are now sexual advances of accused-appellant, was of no moment. The fact that accused-appellant
set forth and contained in Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code, have also been increased. had sexual congress with eleven year-old Rosilyn is sufficient to hold him liable for statutory
rape, and sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
Considering that there are neither mitigating nor aggravating circumstance, the trial
court correctly imposed on accused-appellant the maximum penalty of fifteen (15) years, six As to accused-appellant's civil liability, the amount of moral damages awarded by the
(6) months and twenty (20) days of reclusion temporal, which is within the medium period trial court for each count of acts of lasciviousness under Section 5 (b) of R.A. 7610 should be
of reclusion temporalmedium, pursuant to our ruling in Dulla v. Court of increased from P20,000.00 to P50,000.00.[50] On the other hand, the award of the amount of
Appeals.[46] Notwithstanding that R.A. 7610 is a special law, accused-appellant may enjoy a P50,000.00 as moral damages for each count of statutory rape was correct.
minimum term of the indeterminate sentence to be taken within the range of the penalty
In People v. Lor,[51] citing the cases of People v. Victor,[52] and People v.
Gementiza,[53] we held that the indemnity authorized by our criminal law as civil indemnity ex
delicto for the offended party, in the amount authorized by the prevailing judicial policy and
aside from other proven actual damages, is itself equivalent to actual or compensatory
damages in civil law. Said civil indemnity is mandatory upon finding of the fact of rape; it is
distinct from and should not be denominated as moral damages which are based on different
jural foundations and assessed by the court in the exercise of sound judicial
discretion.[54] Hence, accused-appellant should be ordered to pay the offended party another
P50,000.00 as civil indemnity for each count of rape and acts of lasciviousness.

WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 62, in Criminal
Case Nos. 96-1985 and 96-1986 finding accused-appellant Romeo Jalosjos guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of two counts of statutory rape, and sentencing him to suffer the penalty
of reclusion perpetuafor each count, is AFFIRMED. Likewise, the appealed Decision of the
Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 62 in Criminal Case Nos. 96-1987, 96-1988, 96-1989,
96-1990, 96-1992, and 96-1993, finding accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
acts of lasciviousness in six counts, is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATIONS. As modified, accused-
appellant is sentenced to suffer, for each count of acts of lasciviousness, the indeterminate
penalty of twelve years (12) and one (1) day of reclusion temporal, as minimum, to fifteen
(15) years, six (6) months and twenty (20) days of reclusion temporal as maximum. Further,
accused-appellant is ordered to pay the victim, Ma. Rosilyn Delantar, the additional amount
of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity for each count of statutory rape and acts of
lasciviousness. Finally, the award of moral damages for each count of acts of lasciviousness is
increased to P50,000.00.

SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. L-15905 August 3, 1966 14, 1958, when Congress presumably was not in session, and defendant caused said letter to
be published in several newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines, on or about said
NICANOR T. JIMENEZ, ET AL., plaintiffs and appellants, date. It is obvious that, in thus causing the communication to be so published, he was not
vs. performing his official duty, either as a member of Congress or as officer or any Committee
BARTOLOME CABANGBANG, defendant and appellee. thereof. Hence, contrary to the finding made by His Honor, the trial Judge, said
communication is not absolutely privileged.
Liwag and Vivo and S. Artiaga, Jr. for plaintiffs and appellants.
Jose S. Zafra and Associates and V. M. Fortich Zerda for defendant and appellee. Was it libelous, insofar as the plaintiffs herein are concerned? Addressed to the President,
the communication began with the following paragraph:
CONCEPCION, C.J.:
In the light of the recent developments which however unfortunate had
nevertheless involved the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the unfair attacks
This is an ordinary civil action, originally instituted in the Court of First Instance of Rizal, for
against the duly elected members of Congress of engaging in intriguing and rumor-
the recovery, by plaintiffs Nicanor T. Jimenez, Carlos J. Albert and Jose L. Lukban, of several
mongering, allow me, Your Excellency, to address this open letter to focus public
sums of money, by way of damages for the publication of an allegedly libelous letter of
attention to certain vital information which, under the present circumstances, I feel
defendant Bartolome Cabangbang. Upon being summoned, the latter moved to dismiss the
it my solemn duty to our people to expose.1wph1.t
complaint upon the ground that the letter in question is not libelous, and that, even if were,
said letter is a privileged communication. This motion having been granted by the lower
court, plaintiffs interposed the present appeal from the corresponding order of dismissal. It has come to my attention that there have been allegedly three operational plans
under serious study by some ambitious AFP officers, with the aid of some civilian
political strategists.
The issues before us are: (1) whether the publication in question is a privileged
communication; and, if not, (2) whether it is libelous or not.
Then, it describes the "allegedly three (3) operational plans" referred to in the second
paragraph. The first plan is said to be "an insidious plan or a massive political build-up" of
The first issue stems from the fact that, at the time of said publication, defendant was a
then Secretary of National Defense, Jesus Vargas, by propagandizing and glamorizing him in
member of the House of Representatives and Chairman of its Committee on National
such a way as to "be prepared to become a candidate for President in 1961". To this end, the
Defense, and that pursuant to the Constitution:
"planners" are said to "have adopted the sales-talk that Secretary Vargas is 'Communists'
Public Enemy No. 1 in the Philippines." Moreover, the P4,000,000.00 "intelligence and
The Senators and Members of the House of Representatives shall in all cases psychological warfare funds" of the Department of National Defense, and the "Peace and
except treason, felony, and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during Amelioration Fund" the letter says are "available to adequately finance a political
their attendance at the sessions of the Congress, and in going to and returning campaign". It further adds:
from the same; and for any speech or debate therein, they shall not be questioned
in any other place. (Article VI, Section 15.)
It is reported that the "Planners" have under their control the following: (1) Col.
Nicanor Jimenez of NICA, (2) Lt. Col. Jose Lukban of NBI, (3) Capt. Carlos Albert (PN)
The determination of the first issue depends on whether or not the aforementioned of G-2 AFP, (4) Col. Fidel Llamas of MIS (5) Lt. Col. Jose Regala of the Psychological
publication falls within the purview of the phrase "speech or debate therein" that is to say, Warfare Office, DND, and (6) Major Jose Reyna of the Public information Office,
in Congress used in this provision. DND. To insure this control, the "Planners" purportedly sent Lt. Col. Job Mayo,
Chief of MIS to Europe to study and while Mayo was in Europe, he was relieved by
Said expression refers to utterances made by Congressmen in the performance of their Col. Fidel Llamas. They also sent Lt. Col. Deogracias Caballero, Chief of
official functions, such as speeches delivered, statements made, or votes cast in the halls of Psychological Warfare Office, DND, to USA to study and while Caballero was in USA,
Congress, while the same is in session, as well as bills introduced in Congress, whether the he was relieved by Lt. Col. Jose Regala. The "Planners" wanted to relieve Lt. Col.
same is in session or not, and other acts performed by Congressmen, either in Congress or Ramon Galvezon, Chief of CIS (PC) but failed. Hence, Galvezon is considered a
outside the premises housing its offices, in the official discharge of their duties as members missing link in the intelligence network. It is, of course, possible that the offices
of Congress and of Congressional Committees duly authorized to perform its functions as mentioned above are unwitting tools of the plan of which they may have absolutely
such, at the time of the performance of the acts in question.1 no knowledge. (Emphasis ours.)

The publication involved in this case does not belong to this category. According to the Among the means said to be used to carry out the plan the letter lists, under the heading
complaint herein, it was an open letter to the President of the Philippines, dated November "other operational technique the following:
(a) Continuous speaking engagements all over the Philippines for Secretary Vargas unwitting tools of the plan of which they may have absolutely no knowledge". In other words,
to talk on "Communism" and Apologetics on civilian supremacy over the military; the very document upon which plaintiffs' action is based explicitly indicates that they might
be absolutely unaware of the alleged operational plans, and that they may be merely
(b) Articles in magazines, news releases, and hundreds of letters "typed in two unwitting tools of the planners. We do not think that this statement is derogatory to the
(2) typewriters only" to Editors of magazines and newspapers, extolling plaintiffs, to the point of entitling them to recover damages, considering that they are
Secretary Vargas as the "hero of democracy in 1951, 1953, 1955 and 1957 officers of our Armed Forces, that as such they are by law, under the control of the Secretary
elections"; of National Defense and the Chief of Staff, and that the letter in question seems to suggest
that the group therein described as "planners" include these two (2) high ranking officers.
(c) Radio announcements extolling Vargas and criticizing the administration;
It is true that the complaint alleges that the open letter in question was written by the
defendant, knowing that it is false and with the intent to impeach plaintiffs' reputation, to
(d) Virtual assumption by Vargas of the functions of the Chief of Staff and an
expose them to public hatred, contempt, dishonor and ridicule, and to alienate them from
attempt to pack key positions in several branches of the Armed Forces with men
their associates, but these allegations are mere conclusions which are inconsistent with the
belonging to his clique;
contents of said letter and can not prevail over the same, it being the very basis of the
complaint. Then too, when plaintiffs allege in their complaint that said communication is
(e) Insidious propaganda and rumors spread in such a way as to give the impression false, they could not have possibly meant that they were aware of the alleged plan to stage
that they reflect the feeling of the people or the opposition parties, to undermine a coup d'etat or that they were knowingly tools of the "planners". Again, the aforementioned
the administration. passage in the defendant's letter clearly implies that plaintiffs were not among the
"planners" of said coup d'etat, for, otherwise, they could not be "tools", much less,
Plan No. II is said to be a "coup d'etat", in connection with which the "planners" had gone no unwittingly on their part, of said "planners".
further than the planning stage, although the plan "seems to be held in abeyance and subject
to future developments". Wherefore, the order appealed from is hereby affirmed. It is so ordered.

Plan No. III is characterized as a modification of Plan No. I, by trying to assuage the President Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera, Dizon, Regala, Makalintal, Bengzon, J.P., Zaldivar, Sanchez and Castro,
and the public with a loyalty parade, in connection with which Gen. Arellano delivered a JJ., concur.
speech challenging the authority and integrity of Congress, in an effort to rally the officers
and men of the AFP behind him, and gain popular and civilian support.

The letter in question recommended.: (1) that Secretary Vargas be asked to resign; (2) that
the Armed Forces be divorced absolutely from politics; (3) that the Secretary of National
Defense be a civilian, not a professional military man; (4) that no Congressman be appointed
to said office; (5) that Gen. Arellano be asked to resign or retire; (6) that the present chiefs of
the various intelligence agencies in the Armed Forces including the chiefs of the NICA, NBI,
and other intelligence agencies mentioned elsewhere in the letter, be reassigned,
considering that "they were handpicked by Secretary Vargas and Gen. Arellano", and that,
"most probably, they belong to the Vargas-Arellano clique"; (7) that all military personnel
now serving civilian offices be returned to the AFP, except those holding positions by
provision of law; (8) that the Regular Division of the AFP stationed in Laur, Nueva Ecija, be
dispersed by batallion strength to the various stand-by or training divisions throughout the
country; and (9) that Vargas and Arellano should disqualify themselves from holding or
undertaking an investigation of the planned coup d'etat".

We are satisfied that the letter in question is not sufficient to support plaintiffs' action for
damages. Although the letter says that plaintiffs are under the control of the unnamed
persons therein alluded to as "planners", and that, having been handpicked by Secretary
Vargas and Gen. Arellano, plaintiffs "probably belong to the Vargas-Arellano clique", it should
be noted that defendant, likewise, added that "it is of course possible" that plaintiffs "are
ANTERO J. POBRE, A.C. No. 7399
Complainant, The immunity Senator Santiago claims is rooted primarily on the provision of
Present: Article VI, Section 11 of the Constitution, which provides: A Senator or Member of the House
of Representative shall, in all offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment,
- versus - CHICO-NAZARIO, J., be privileged from arrest while the Congress is in session. No member shall be questioned
Acting Chairperson, nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in the Congress or in any
CARPIO MORALES,* committee thereof. Explaining the import of the underscored portion of the provision, the
Sen. MIRIAM DEFENSOR- SANTIAGO, VELASCO, JR., Court, in Osmea, Jr. v. Pendatun, said:
Respondent. NACHURA, and Our Constitution enshrines parliamentary immunity which is a
PERALTA, JJ. fundamental privilege cherished in every legislative assembly of the
democratic world. As old as the English Parliament, its purpose is to
Promulgated: enable and encourage a representative of the public to discharge his
August 25, 2009 public trust with firmness and success for it is indispensably necessary
x-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x that he should enjoy the fullest liberty of speech and that he should be
protected from resentment of every one, however, powerful, to whom
DECISION the exercise of that liberty may occasion offense.[1]

As American jurisprudence puts it, this legislative privilege is founded upon long
VELASCO, JR., J.: experience and arises as a means of perpetuating inviolate the functioning process of the
legislative department. Without parliamentary immunity, parliament, or its equivalent,
would degenerate into a polite and ineffective debating forum. Legislators are immune from
In his sworn letter/complaint dated December 22, 2006, with enclosures, Antero J. Pobre deterrents to the uninhibited discharge of their legislative duties, not for their private
invites the Courts attention to the following excerpts of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiagos indulgence, but for the public good. The privilege would be of little value if they could be
speech delivered on the Senate floor: subjected to the cost and inconvenience and distractions of a trial upon a conclusion of the
x x x I am not angry. I am irate. I am foaming in the mouth. I am pleader, or to the hazard of a judgment against them based upon a judges speculation as to
homicidal. I am suicidal. I am humiliated, debased, degraded. And I am the motives.[2]
not only that, I feel like throwing up to be living my middle years in a
country of this nature. I am nauseated. I spit on the face of Chief This Court is aware of the need and has in fact been in the forefront in upholding
Justice Artemio Panganiban and his cohorts in the Supreme Court, I am the institution of parliamentary immunity and promotion of free speech. Neither has the
no longer interested in the position [of Chief Justice] if I was to be Court lost sight of the importance of the legislative and oversight functions of the Congress
surrounded by idiots. I would rather be in another environment but not that enable this representative body to look diligently into every affair of government,
in the Supreme Court of idiots x x x. investigate and denounce anomalies, and talk about how the country and its citizens are
To Pobre, the foregoing statements reflected a total disrespect on the part of the speaker being served. Courts do not interfere with the legislature or its members in the manner they
towards then Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban and the other members of the Court and perform their functions in the legislative floor or in committee rooms. Any claim of an
constituted direct contempt of court. Accordingly, Pobre asks that disbarment proceedings or unworthy purpose or of the falsity and mala fides of the statement uttered by the member of
other disciplinary actions be taken against the lady senator. the Congress does not destroy the privilege.[3]The disciplinary authority of the
assembly[4] and the voters, not the courts, can properly discourage or correct such abuses
In her comment on the complaint dated April 25, 2007, Senator Santiago, through committed in the name of parliamentary immunity.[5]
counsel, does not deny making the aforequoted statements. She, however, explained that
those statements were covered by the constitutional provision on parliamentary immunity,
being part of a speech she delivered in the discharge of her duty as member of Congress or For the above reasons, the plea of Senator Santiago for the dismissal of the
its committee. The purpose of her speech, according to her, was to bring out in the open complaint for disbarment or disciplinary action is well taken. Indeed, her privilege speech is
controversial anomalies in governance with a view to future remedial legislation. She averred not actionable criminally or in a disciplinary proceeding under the Rules of Court. It is felt,
that she wanted to expose what she believed to be an unjust act of the Judicial Bar Council however, that this could not be the last word on the matter.
[JBC], which, after sending out public invitations for nomination to the soon to-be vacated
position of Chief Justice, would eventually inform applicants that only incumbent justices of The Court wishes to express its deep concern about the language Senator Santiago,
the Supreme Court would qualify for nomination. She felt that the JBC should have at least a member of the Bar, used in her speech and its effect on the administration of justice. To
given an advanced advisory that non-sitting members of the Court, like her, would not be the Court, the lady senator has undoubtedly crossed the limits of decency and good
considered for the position of Chief Justice. professional conduct. It is at once apparent that her statements in question were
intemperate and highly improper in substance. To reiterate, she was quoted as stating that surrounded by idiots. I would rather be in another environment but not
she wanted to spit on the face of Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban and his cohorts in the in the Supreme Court of idiots x x x. (Emphasis ours.)
Supreme Court, and calling the Court a Supreme Court of idiots.

The lady senator alluded to In Re: Vicente Sotto.[6] We draw her attention to the A careful re-reading of her utterances would readily show that her statements
ensuing passage in Sotto that she should have taken to heart in the first place: were expressions of personal anger and frustration at not being considered for the post of
Chief Justice. In a sense, therefore, her remarks were outside the pale of her official
x x x [I]f the people lose their confidence in the honesty and parliamentary functions. Even parliamentary immunity must not be allowed to be used as a
integrity of this Court and believe that they cannot expect justice vehicle to ridicule, demean, and destroy the reputation of the Court and its magistrates, nor
therefrom, they might be driven to take the law into their own hands, as armor for personal wrath and disgust. Authorities are agreed that parliamentary immunity
and disorder and perhaps chaos would be the result. is not an individual privilege accorded the individual members of the Parliament or Congress
for their personal benefit, but rather a privilege for the benefit of the people and the
institution that represents them.

No lawyer who has taken an oath to maintain the respect due to the courts should To be sure, Senator Santiago could have given vent to her anger without indulging
be allowed to erode the peoples faith in the judiciary. In this case, the lady senator clearly in insulting rhetoric and offensive personalities.
violated Canon 8, Rule 8.01 and Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which
respectively provide: Lest it be overlooked, Senator Santiagos outburst was directly traceable to what
she considered as an unjust act the JBC had taken in connection with her application for the
Canon 8, Rule 8.01.A lawyer shall not, in his professional position of Chief Justice. But while the JBC functions under the Courts supervision, its
dealings, use language which is abusive, offensive or otherwise improper. individual members, save perhaps for the Chief Justice who sits as the JBCs ex-
officio chairperson,[8] have no official duty to nominate candidates for appointment to the
Canon 11.A lawyer shall observe and maintain the respect due position of Chief Justice. The Court is, thus, at a loss to understand Senator Santiagos
to the courts and to the judicial officers and should insist on similar wholesale and indiscriminate assault on the members of the Court and her choice of critical
conduct by others. and defamatory words against all of them.

At any event, equally important as the speech and debate clause of Art. VI, Sec. 11
Senator/Atty. Santiago is a cut higher than most lawyers. Her achievements speak of the Constitution is Sec. 5(5) of Art. VIII of the Constitution that provides:
for themselves. She was a former Regional Trial Court judge, a law professor, an oft-cited
authority on constitutional and international law, an author of numerous law textbooks, and Section 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:
an elected senator of the land. Needless to stress, Senator Santiago, as a member of the Bar
and officer of the court, like any other, is duty-bound to uphold the dignity and authority of xxxx
this Court and to maintain the respect due its members. Lawyers in public service are
keepers of public faith and are burdened with the higher degree of social responsibility, (5) Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of
perhaps higher than their brethren in private practice. [7] Senator Santiago should have constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, the
known, as any perceptive individual, the impact her statements would make on the peoples admission to the practice of the law, the Integrated Bar, and legal
faith in the integrity of the courts. assistance to the underprivileged. (Emphasis ours.)

As Senator Santiago alleged, she delivered her privilege speech as a prelude to


crafting remedial legislation on the JBC. This allegation strikes the Court as an afterthought in The Court, besides being authorized to promulgate rules concerning pleading,
light of the insulting tenor of what she said. We quote the passage once more: practice, and procedure in all courts, exercises specific authority to promulgate rules
governing the Integrated Bar with the end in view that the integration of the Bar will, among
x x x I am not angry. I am irate. I am foaming in the mouth. I am other things:
homicidal. I am suicidal. I am humiliated, debased, degraded. And I am
not only that, I feel like throwing up to be living my middle years in a (4) Shield the judiciary, which traditionally cannot defend itself
country of this nature. I am nauseated. I spit on the face of Chief except within its own forum, from the assaults that politics and self
Justice Artemio Panganiban and his cohorts in the Supreme Court, I am interest may level at it, and assist it to maintain its integrity, impartiality
no longer interested in the position [of Chief Justice] if I was to be and independence;
xxxx
This Court, in its unceasing quest to promote the peoples faith in courts and trust in
(11) Enforce rigid ethical standards x x x.[9] the rule of law, has consistently exercised its disciplinary authority on lawyers who, for
malevolent purpose or personal malice, attempt to obstruct the orderly administration of
justice, trifle with the integrity of courts, and embarrass or, worse, malign the men and
In Re: Letter Dated 21 February 2005 of Atty. Noel S. Sorreda,[10] we reiterated our women who compose them. We have done it in the case of former Senator Vicente Sotto
pronouncement in Rheem of the Philippines v. Ferrer[11] that the duty of attorneys to the in Sotto, in the case of Atty. Noel Sorreda in Sorreda, and in the case of Atty. Francisco B.
courts can only be maintained by rendering no service involving any disrespect to the judicial Cruz in Tacordan v. Ang[17] who repeatedly insulted and threatened the Court in a most
office which they are bound to uphold. The Court wrote in Rheem of the Philippines: insolent manner.

x x x As explicit is the first canon of legal ethics which The Court is not hesitant to impose some form of disciplinary sanctions on
pronounces that [i]t is the duty of a lawyer to maintain towards the Senator/Atty. Santiago for what otherwise would have constituted an act of utter disrespect
Courts a respectful attitude, not for the sake of the temporary incumbent on her part towards the Court and its members. The factual and legal circumstances of this
of the judicial office, but for the maintenance of its supreme importance. case, however, deter the Court from doing so, even without any sign of remorse from her.
That same canon, as a corollary, makes it peculiarly incumbent upon Basic constitutional consideration dictates this kind of disposition.
lawyers to support the courts against unjust criticism and clamor. And
more. The attorneys oath solemnly binds him to a conduct that should be We, however, would be remiss in our duty if we let the Senators offensive and
with all good fidelity x x x to the courts. disrespectful language that definitely tended to denigrate the institution pass by. It is
imperative on our part to re-instill in Senator/Atty. Santiago her duty to respect courts of
justice, especially this Tribunal, and remind her anew that the parliamentary non-
Also, in Sorreda, the Court revisited its holding in Surigao Mineral Reservation accountability thus granted to members of Congress is not to protect them against
Board v. Cloribel[12] that: prosecutions for their own benefit, but to enable them, as the peoples representatives, to
perform the functions of their office without fear of being made responsible before the
A lawyer is an officer of the courts; he is, like the court itself, an courts or other forums outside the congressional hall.[18] It is intended to protect members of
instrument or agency to advance the ends of justice. His duty is to uphold Congress against government pressure and intimidation aimed at influencing the decision-
the dignity and authority of the courts to which he owes fidelity, not to making prerogatives of Congress and its members.
promote distrust in the administration of justice. Faith in the courts, a
lawyer should seek to preserve. For, to undermine the judicial edifice is The Rules of the Senate itself contains a provision on Unparliamentary Acts and
disastrous to the continuity of government and to the attainment of the Language that enjoins a Senator from using, under any circumstance, offensive or improper
liberties of the people. Thus has it been said of a lawyer that [a]s an language against another Senator or against any public institution.[19] But as to Senator
officer of the court, it is his sworn and moral duty to help build and not Santiagos unparliamentary remarks, the Senate President had not apparently called her to
destroy unnecessarily that high esteem and regard towards the courts so order, let alone referred the matter to the Senate Ethics Committee for appropriate
essential to the proper administration of justice.[13] disciplinary action, as the Rules dictates under such circumstance.[20] The lady senator clearly
The lady senator belongs to the legal profession bound by the exacting injunction violated the rules of her own chamber. It is unfortunate that her peers bent backwards and
of a strict Code. Society has entrusted that profession with the administration of the law and avoided imposing their own rules on her.
dispensation of justice. Generally speaking, a lawyer holding a government office may not be
disciplined as a member of the Bar for misconduct committed while in the discharge of
official duties, unless said misconduct also constitutes a violation of his/her oath as a Finally, the lady senator questions Pobres motives in filing his complaint, stating
lawyer.[14] that disciplinary proceedings must be undertaken solely for the public welfare. We cannot
agree with her more. We cannot overstress that the senators use of intemperate language to
Lawyers may be disciplined even for any conduct committed in their private demean and denigrate the highest court of the land is a clear violation of the duty of respect
capacity, as long as their misconduct reflects their want of probity or good demeanor, [15] a lawyers owe to the courts.[21]
good character being an essential qualification for the admission to the practice of law and
for continuance of such privilege. When the Code of Professional Responsibility or the Rules
of Court speaks of conduct or misconduct, the reference is not confined to ones behavior Finally, the Senator asserts that complainant Pobre has failed to prove that she in
exhibited in connection with the performance of lawyers professional duties, but also covers
any misconduct, whichalbeit unrelated to the actual practice of their professionwould show fact made the statements in question. Suffice it to say in this regard that, although she has
them to be unfit for the office and unworthy of the privileges which their license and the law
invest in them.[16]
not categorically denied making such statements, she has unequivocally said making them as

part of her privilege speech. Her implied admission is good enough for the Court.

WHEREFORE, the letter-complaint of Antero J. Pobre against Senator/Atty. Miriam

Defensor-Santiago is, conformably to Art. VI, Sec. 11 of the Constitution, DISMISSED.

SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. L-68159 March 18, 1985 status of a mere private citizen after he lost in the Batas Pambansa elections, he could no
longer continue to serve as vice-governor, much less assume the office of governor.
HOMOBONO ADAZA, petitioner,
vs. 1. The constitutional prohibition against a member of the Batasan Pambansa from holding
FERNANDO PACANA, JR., respondent any other office or employment in the government during his tenure is clear and
unambiguous. Section 10, Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution provides as follows:
ESCOLIN, J.:
Section 10 A member of the National Assembly [now Batasan Pambansa
The issues posed for determination in this petition for prohibition with prayer for a writ of shall not hold any other office or employment in the government or any
preliminary injunction and/or restraining order are: [1] whether or not a provincial governor subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government
who was elected and had qualified as a Mambabatas Pambansa [MP] can exercise and owned or controlled corporations, during his tenure, except that of prime
discharge the functions of both offices simultaneously; and [2] whether or not a vice- minister or member of the cabinet. ...
governor who ran for the position of Mambabatas Pambansa, but lost, can continue serving
as vice-governor and subsequently succeed to the office of governor if the said office is The language used in the above-cited section is plain, certain and free from ambiguity. The
vacated. only exceptions mentioned therein are the offices of prime minister and cabinet member.
The wisdom or expediency of the said provision is a matter which is not within the province
The factual background of the present controversy is as follows: of the Court to determine.

Petitioner Homobono A. Adaza was elected governor of the province of Misamis Oriental in A public office is a public trust. 3 It is created for the interest and the benefit of the people. As
the January 30, 1980 elections. He took his oath of office and started discharging his duties as such, a holder thereof "is subject to such regulations and conditions as the law may impose"
provincial governor on March 3, 1980. Elected vice-governor for said province in the same and "he cannot complain of any restrictions which public policy may dictate on his holding of
elections was respondent Fernando Pacana, Jr., who likewise qualified for and assumed said more than one office." 4 It is therefore of no avail to petitioner that the system of
office on March 3, 1980. Under the law, their respective terms of office would expire on government in other states allows a local elective official to act as an elected member of the
March 3, 1986. parliament at the same time. The dictate of the people in whom legal sovereignty lies is
explicit. It provides no exceptions save the two offices specifically cited in the above-quoted
constitutional provision. Thus, while it may be said that within the purely parliamentary
On March 27, 1984, respondent Pacana filed his certificate of candidacy for the May 14, 1984
system of government no incompatibility exists in the nature of the two offices under
Batasan Pambansa elections; petitioner Adaza followed suit on April 27, 1984. In the ensuing
consideration, as incompatibility is understood in common law, the incompatibility herein
elections, petitioner won by placing first among the candidates, while respondent lost.
present is one created by no less than the constitution itself. In the case at bar, there is no
question that petitioner has taken his oath of office as an elected Mambabatas Pambansa
Petitioner took his oath of office as Mambabatas Pambansa on July 19, 1984 1 and since then and has been discharging his duties as such. In the light of the oft-mentioned constitutional
he has discharged the functions of said office. provision, this fact operated to vacate his former post and he cannot now continue to occupy
the same, nor attempt to discharge its functions.
On July 23, 1984, respondent took his oath of office as governor of Misamis Oriental before
President Ferdinand E. Marcos, 2 and started to perform the duties of governor on July 25, 2. The second proposition advanced by petitioner is that respondent Pacana, as a mere
1984. private citizen, had no right to assume the governorship left vacant by petitioner's election to
the Batasan Pambansa. He maintains that respondent should be considered as having
Claiming to be the lawful occupant of the governor's office, petitioner has brought this abandoned or resigned from the vice-governorship when he filed his certificate of candidacy
petition to exclude respondent therefrom. He argues that he was elected to said office for a for the Batas Pambansa elections. The point pressed runs afoul of Batas Pambansa Blg. 697,
term of six years, that he remains to be the governor of the province until his term expires on the law governing the election of members of the Batasan Pambansa on May 14, 1984,
March 3, 1986 as provided by law, and that within the context of the parliamentary system, Section 13[2] of which specifically provides that "governors, mayors, members of the various
as in France, Great Britain and New Zealand, a local elective official can hold the position to sangguniang or barangay officials shall, upon filing a certificate of candidacy, be considered
which he had been elected and simultaneously be an elected member of Parliament. on forced leave of absence from office." Indubitably, respondent falls within the coverage of
this provision, considering that at the time he filed his certificate of candidacy for the 1984
Petitioner further contends that respondent Pacana should be considered to have Batasan Pambansa election he was a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan as provided
abandoned or resigned from the position of vice-governor when he filed his certificate of in Sections 204 and 205 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 337, 5 otherwise known as the Local
candidacy for the 1984 Batas Pambansa elections; and since respondent had reverted to the Government Code. The reason the position of vice-governor was not included in Section
13[2] of BP Blg. 697 is explained by the following interchange between Assemblymen San
Juan and Davide during the deliberations on said legislation:

MR. DAVIDE. If I was able to get correctly the proposed amendment it


would cover only governors and members of the different sanggunians?
Mayor, governors?

MR. SAN JUAN. Governors, mayors, members of the various sanggunian


or barangay officials. A vice-governor is a member of the Sanggunian
Panlalawigan.

MR. DAVIDE. All. Why don't we instead use the word, "Local officials?

MR. SAN JUAN. Well, Mr. Speaker, your humble representation ...

MR. DAVIDE. And, secondly, why don't we include the vice-governor, the
vice-mayors?

MR. SAN JUAN. Because they are members of the Sanggunians, Mr.
Speaker. They are covered by the provision on members of sanggunian.
[Record of Proceedings, February 20, 1984, p. 92, Rollo]

Thus, when respondent reassumed the position of vice-governor after the Batas Pambansa
elections, he was acting within the law. His succession to the governorship was equally legal
and valid, the same being in accordance with Section 204[2] [a] of the same Local
Government Code, which reads as follows:

SECTION 204. Powers, Duties and Privileges:

1] x x x

2] He shall:

a] Assume the office of the governor for the unexpired term of the latter
in the cases provided for in Section 48, paragraph 1 6 of this Code;

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby dismissed. No costs.

SO ORDERED.

Teehankee, Makasiar, Aquino, Concepcion Jr., Melencio-Herrera, Plana, Relova, Gutierrez, Jr.,
De la Fuente, Cuevas and Alampay, JJ., concur.

Fernando, C.J., and Abad Santos, J., took no part.


G.R. No. L-51122 March 25, 1982 counsel before ... any administrative body", and SEC was an administrative body. Incidentally,
the same prohibition was maintained by the April 7, 1981 plebiscite. The cited Constitutional
EUGENIO J. PUYAT, ERWIN L. CHIONGBIAN, EDGARDO P. REYES, ANTONIO G. PUYAT, JAIME prohibition being clear, Assemblyman Fernandez did not continue his appearance for
R. BLANCO, RAFAEL R. RECTO and REYNALDO L. LARDIZABAL, petitioners, respondent Acero.
vs.
HON. SIXTO T. J. DE GUZMAN, JR., as Associate Commissioner of the Securities & Exchange d) May 31, 1979. When the SEC Case was called, it turned out that:
Commission, EUSTAQUIO T. C. ACERO, R. G. VILDZIUS, ENRIQUE M. BELO, MANUEL G.
ABELLO, SERVILLANO DOLINA, JUANITO MERCADO and ESTANISLAO A. (i) On May 15, 1979, Assemblyman Estanislao A. Fernandez had
FERNANDEZ, respondents. purchased from Augusto A. Morales ten (10) shares of stock of IPI for
P200.00 upon request of respondent Acero to qualify him to run for
election as a Director.

MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.: (ii) The deed of sale, however, was notarized only on May 30, 1979 and
was sought to be registered on said date.
This suit for certiorari and Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction is poised against the Order
of respondent Associate Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) (iii) On May 31, 1979, the day following the notarization of Assemblyman
granting Assemblyman Estanislao A. Fernandez leave to intervene in SEC Case No. 1747. Fernandez' purchase, the latter had filed an Urgent Motion for
Intervention in the SEC Case as the owner of ten (10) IPI shares alleging
A question of novel import is in issue. For its resolution, the following dates and allegations legal interest in the matter in litigation.
are being given and made:
e) July 17, 1979. The SEC granted leave to intervene on the basis of Atty. Fernandez'
a) May 14,1979. An election for the eleven Directors of the International Pipe Industries ownership of the said ten shares. 1 It is this Order allowing intervention that precipitated the
Corporation (IPI) a private corporation, was held. Those in charge ruled that the following instant petition for certiorari and Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction.
were elected as Directors:
f) July 3, 1979. Edgardo P. Reyes instituted a case before the Court of First Instance of Rizal
Eugenio J. Puyat Eustaquio T.C. Acero (Pasig), Branch XXI, against N.V. Verenigde Bueinzenfabrieken Excelsior De Maas and
Erwin L. Chiongbian R. G. Vildzius respondent Eustaquio T. C. Acero and others, to annul the sale of Excelsior's shares in the IPI
Edgardo P. Reyes Enrique M. Belo to respondent Acero (CC No. 33739). In that case, Assemblyman Fernandez appeared as
Antonio G. Puyat Servillano Dolina counsel for defendant Excelsior In L-51928, we ruled that Assemblyman Fernandez could not
Jaime R. Blanco Juanito Mercado appear as counsel in a case originally filed with a Court of First Instance as in such situation
Rafael R. Recto the Court would be one "without appellate jurisdiction."

Those named on the left list may be called the Puyat Group; those on the right, the Acero On September 4, 1979, the Court en banc issued a temporary Restraining Order enjoining
Group. Thus, the Puyat Group would be in control of the Board and of the management of respondent SEC Associate Commissioner from allowing the participation as an intervenor, of
IPI. respondent Assemblyman Estanislao Fernandez at the proceedings in the SEC Case.

b) May 25, 1979. The Acero Group instituted at the Securities and Exchange Commission The Solicitor General, in his Comment for respondent Commissioner, supports the stand of
(SEC) quo warrantoproceedings, docketed as Case No. 1747 (the SEC Case), questioning the the latter in allowing intervention. The Court en banc, on November 6, 1979, resolved to
election of May 14, 1979. The Acero Group claimed that the stockholders' votes were not consider the Comment as an Answer to the Petition.
properly counted.
The issue which will be resolved is whether or not Assemblyman Fernandez, as a then
c) May 25-31, 1979. The Puyat Group claims that at conferences of the parties with stockholder of IPI may intervene in the SEC Case without violating Section 11, Article VIII of
respondent SEC Commissioner de Guzman, Justice Estanislao A. Fernandez, then a member the Constitution, which, as amended, now reads:
of the Interim Batasang Pambansa, orally entered his appearance as counsel for respondent
Acero to which the Puyat Group objected on Constitutional grounds. Section 11, Article VIII, SEC. 11.
of the 1973 Constitution, then in force, provided that no Assemblyman could "appear as
No Member of the Batasang Pambansa shall appear as counsel before Under those facts and circumstances, we are constrained to find that there has been an
any court without appellate jurisdiction. indirect "appearance as counsel before ... an administrative body" and, in our opinion, that is
a circumvention of the Constitutional prohibition. The "intervention" was an afterthought to
before any court in any civil case wherein the Government, or any enable him to appear actively in the proceedings in some other capacity. To believe the
subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof is the adverse party, avowed purpose, that is, to enable him eventually to vote and to be elected as Director in the
event of an unfavorable outcome of the SEC Case would be pure naivete. He would still
appear as counsel indirectly.
or in any criminal case wherein any officer or employee of the
Government is accused of an offense committed in relation to his office,
A ruling upholding the "intervention" would make the constitutional provision ineffective. All
an Assemblyman need do, if he wants to influence an administrative body is to acquire a
or before any administrative body.
minimal participation in the "interest" of the client and then "intervene" in the proceedings.
That which the Constitution directly prohibits may not be done by indirection or by a general
Neither shall he, directly or indirectly be interested financially in any legislative act which is intended to accomplish the objects specifically or impliedly
contract with, or in any franchise or special privilege granted by the prohibited. 3
Government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof,
including any government-owned or controlled corporation, during his
In brief, we hold that the intervention of Assemblyman Fernandez in SEC. No. 1747 falls
term of office.
within the ambit of the prohibition contained in Section 11, Article VIII of the Constitution.

He shall not accept employment to intervene in any cause or matter


Our resolution of this case should not be construed as, absent the question of the
where he may be called to act on account of his office. (Emphasis
constitutional prohibition against members of the Batasan, allowing any stockholder, or any
supplied)
number of stockholders, in a corporation to intervene in any controversy before the SEC
relating to intra-corporate matters. A resolution of that question is not necessary in this case.
What really has to be resolved is whether or not, in intervening in the SEC Case,
Assemblyman Fernandez is, in effect, appearing as counsel, albeit indirectly, before an
WHEREFORE, respondent Commissioner's Order granting Atty. Estanislao A. Fernandez leave
administrative body in contravention of the Constitutional provision.
to intervene in SEC Case No. 1747 is hereby reversed and set aside. The temporary
Restraining Order heretofore issued is hereby made permanent.
Ordinarily, by virtue of the Motion for Intervention, Assemblyman Fernandez cannot be said
to be appearing as counsel. Ostensibly, he is not appearing on behalf of another, although he
No costs.
is joining the cause of the private respondents. His appearance could theoretically be for the
protection of his ownership of ten (10) shares of IPI in respect of the matter in litigation and
not for the protection of the petitioners nor respondents who have their respective capable SO ORDERED.
and respected counsel.

However, certain salient circumstances militate against the intervention of Assemblyman


Fernandez in the SEC Case. He had acquired a mere P200.00 worth of stock in IPI,
representing ten shares out of 262,843 outstanding shares. He acquired them "after the fact"
that is, on May 30, 1979, after the contested election of Directors on May 14, 1979, after
the quo warranto suit had been filed on May 25, 1979 before SEC and one day before the
scheduled hearing of the case before the SEC on May 31, 1979. And what is more, before he
moved to intervene, he had signified his intention to appear as counsel for respondent
Eustaquio T. C. Acero, 2 but which was objected to by petitioners. Realizing, perhaps, the
validity of the objection, he decided, instead, to "intervene" on the ground of legal interest in
the matter under litigation. And it maybe noted that in the case filed before the Rizal Court
of First Instance (L-51928), he appeared as counsel for defendant Excelsior, co-defendant of
respondent Acero therein.
DANTE V. LIBAN, G.R. No. 175352
REYNALDO M. BERNARDO,
Petitioners Dante V. Liban, Reynaldo M. Bernardo, and Salvador M. Viari (petitioners) filed
and SALVADOR M. VIARI, Present:
Petitioners, with this Court a Petition to Declare Richard J. Gordon as Having Forfeited His Seat in the
PUNO, C.J., Senate. Petitioners are officers of the Board of Directors of the Quezon City Red Cross
QUISUMBING,
Chapter while respondent is Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) Board of
YNARES-SANTIAGO,
CARPIO, Governors.
CORONA,
CARPIO MORALES, During respondents incumbency as a member of the Senate of the Philippines, [1] he was
CHICO-NAZARIO,
elected Chairman of the PNRC during the 23 February 2006 meeting of the PNRC Board of
- versus - VELASCO, JR.,
NACHURA, Governors. Petitioners allege that by accepting the chairmanship of the PNRC Board of
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, Governors, respondent has ceased to be a member of the Senate as provided in Section 13,
BRION,
Article VI of the Constitution, which reads:
PERALTA, and
BERSAMIN, JJ.
SEC. 13. No Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may
hold any other office or employment in the Government, or any
subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-
RICHARD J. GORDON, owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries, during his term
Respondent. Promulgated: without forfeiting his seat. Neither shall he be appointed to any office
which may have been created or the emoluments thereof increased
July 15, 2009 during the term for which he was elected.
x--------------------------------------------------x Petitioners cite Camporedondo v. NLRC,[2] which held that the PNRC is a government-owned
or controlled corporation. Petitioners claim that in accepting and holding the position of
Chairman of the PNRC Board of Governors, respondent has automatically forfeited his seat in
DECISION the Senate, pursuant to Flores v. Drilon,[3] which held that incumbent national legislators lose
their elective posts upon their appointment to another government office.

CARPIO, J.:
In his Comment, respondent asserts that petitioners have no standing to file this petition

which appears to be an action for quo warranto, since the petition alleges that respondent
The Case
committed an act which, by provision of law, constitutes a ground for forfeiture of his public

office. Petitioners do not claim to be entitled to the Senate office of respondent. Under
This is a petition to declare Senator Richard J. Gordon (respondent) as having forfeited his
Section 5, Rule 66 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, only a person claiming to be entitled to a
seat in the Senate.
public office usurped or unlawfully held by another may bring an action for quo warranto in

his own name. If the petition is one for quo warranto, it is already barred by prescription
The Facts
since under Section 11, Rule 66 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, the action should be
commenced within one year after the cause of the public officers forfeiture of office. In this

case, respondent has been working as a Red Cross volunteer for the past 40 years. Petitioners raise the following issues:

Respondent was already Chairman of the PNRC Board of Governors when he was elected
1. Whether the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) is a government-
Senator in May 2004, having been elected Chairman in 2003 and re-elected in 2005. owned or controlled corporation;

2. Whether Section 13, Article VI of the Philippine Constitution applies to


Respondent contends that even if the present petition is treated as a taxpayers suit, the case of respondent who is Chairman of the PNRC and at the same
time a Member of the Senate;
petitioners cannot be allowed to raise a constitutional question in the absence of any claim

that they suffered some actual damage or threatened injury as a result of the allegedly illegal 3. Whether respondent should be automatically removed as a
Senator pursuant to Section 13, Article VI of the Philippine
act of respondent. Furthermore, taxpayers are allowed to sue only when there is a claim of Constitution; and
illegal disbursement of public funds, or that public money is being diverted to any improper
4. Whether petitioners may legally institute this petition against
purpose, or where petitioners seek to restrain respondent from enforcing an invalid law that respondent.[4]

results in wastage of public funds.

Respondent also maintains that if the petition is treated as one for declaratory relief, this The substantial issue boils down to whether the office of the PNRC Chairman is a government

Court would have no jurisdiction since original jurisdiction for declaratory relief lies with the office or an office in a government-owned or controlled corporation for purposes of the

Regional Trial Court. prohibition in Section 13, Article VI of the Constitution.

Respondent further insists that the PNRC is not a government-owned or controlled The Courts Ruling

corporation and that the prohibition under Section 13, Article VI of the Constitution does not

apply in the present case since volunteer service to the PNRC is neither an office nor an We find the petition without merit.

employment.
Petitioners Have No Standing to File this Petition

In their Reply, petitioners claim that their petition is neither an action for quo warranto nor A careful reading of the petition reveals that it is an action for quo warranto. Section 1, Rule
an action for declaratory relief. Petitioners maintain that the present petition is a taxpayers 66 of the Rules of Court provides:

suit questioning the unlawful disbursement of funds, considering that respondent has been
Section 1. Action by Government against individuals. An action for the
drawing his salaries and other compensation as a Senator even if he is no longer entitled to usurpation of a public office, position or franchise may be commenced
by a verified petition brought in the name of the Republic of the
his office. Petitioners point out that this Court has jurisdiction over this petition since it
Philippines against:
involves a legal or constitutional issue which is of transcendental importance. (a) A person who usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises a
public office, position or franchise;
The Issues (b) A public officer who does or suffers an act which by provision of law, constitutes a
ground for the forfeiture of his office; or
(c) An association which acts as a corporation within the Philippines without being legally Quo warranto is generally commenced by the Government as the proper party plaintiff.
incorporated or without lawful authority so to act. (Emphasis supplied) However, under Section 5, Rule 66 of the Rules of Court, an individual may commence such
an action if he claims to be entitled to the public office allegedly usurped by another, in
which case he can bring the action in his own name. The person instituting quo warranto
Petitioners allege in their petition that: proceedings in his own behalf must claim and be able to show that he is entitled to the office
4. Respondent became the Chairman of the PNRC when he was elected as in dispute, otherwise the action may be dismissed at any stage.[6] In the present case,
such during the First Regular Luncheon-Meeting of the Board of petitioners do not claim to be entitled to the Senate office of respondent. Clearly, petitioners
Governors of the PNRC held on February 23, 2006, the minutes of which have no standing to file the present petition.
is hereto attached and made integral part hereof as Annex A.
5. Respondent was elected as Chairman of the PNRC Board of Governors, Even if the Court disregards the infirmities of the petition and treats it as a taxpayers suit, the
during his incumbency as a Member of the House of Senate of the petition would still fail on the merits.
Congress of the Philippines, having been elected as such during the
national elections last May 2004. PNRC is a Private Organization Performing Public Functions
6. Since his election as Chairman of the PNRC Board of Governors, which position he duly
accepted, respondent has been exercising the powers and discharging the functions and On 22 March 1947, President Manuel A. Roxas signed Republic Act No. 95,[7] otherwise
duties of said office, despite the fact that he is still a senator. known as the PNRC Charter. The PNRC is a non-profit, donor-funded, voluntary,
7. It is the respectful submission of the petitioner[s] that by accepting the chairmanship of humanitarian organization, whose mission is to bring timely, effective, and compassionate
the Board of Governors of the PNRC, respondent has ceased to be a Member of the House humanitarian assistance for the most vulnerable without consideration of nationality, race,
of Senate as provided in Section 13, Article VI of the Philippine Constitution, x x x religion, gender, social status, or political affiliation.[8] The PNRC provides six major services:
xxxx Blood Services, Disaster Management, Safety Services, Community Health and Nursing, Social
10. It is respectfully submitted that in accepting the position of Chairman of the Board of Services and Voluntary Service.[9]
Governors of the PNRC on February 23, 2006, respondent has automatically forfeited his
seat in the House of Senate and, therefore, has long ceased to be a Senator, pursuant to the
ruling of this Honorable Court in the case of FLORES, ET AL. VS. DRILON AND GORDON, G.R. The Republic of the Philippines, adhering to the Geneva Conventions, established the PNRC
No. 104732, x x x
11. Despite the fact that he is no longer a senator, respondent continues to act as such and as a voluntary organization for the purpose contemplated in the Geneva Convention of 27
still performs the powers, functions and duties of a senator, contrary to the constitution, law
July 1929.[10] The Whereas clauses of the PNRC Charter read:
and jurisprudence.
12. Unless restrained, therefore, respondent will continue to falsely act and represent
himself as a senator or member of the House of Senate, collecting the salaries, emoluments WHEREAS, there was developed at Geneva, Switzerland, on August 22,
and other compensations, benefits and privileges appertaining and due only to the legitimate 1864, a convention by which the nations of the world were invited to join
senators, to the damage, great and irreparable injury of the Government and the Filipino together in diminishing, so far lies within their power, the evils inherent
people.[5] (Emphasis supplied) in war;
WHEREAS, more than sixty nations of the world have ratified or adhered
to the subsequent revision of said convention, namely the Convention of
Geneva of July 29 [sic], 1929 for the Amelioration of the Condition of the
Wounded and Sick of Armies in the Field (referred to in this Charter as the
Thus, petitioners are alleging that by accepting the position of Chairman of the PNRC Board Geneva Red Cross Convention);
of Governors, respondent has automatically forfeited his seat in the Senate. In short, WHEREAS, the Geneva Red Cross Convention envisages the establishment in each country
of a voluntary organization to assist in caring for the wounded and sick of the armed
petitioners filed an action for usurpation of public office against respondent, a public officer forces and to furnish supplies for that purpose;
WHEREAS, the Republic of the Philippines became an independent
who allegedly committed an act which constitutes a ground for the forfeiture of his public nation on July 4, 1946 and proclaimed its adherence to the Geneva Red
office. Clearly, such an action is for quo warranto, specifically under Section 1(b), Rule 66 of Cross Convention on February 14, 1947, and by that action indicated its
desire to participate with the nations of the world in mitigating the
the Rules of Court. suffering caused by war and to establish in the Philippines a voluntary
organization for that purpose as contemplated by the Geneva Red Cross
Convention;
WHEREAS, there existed in the Philippines since 1917 a Charter of the
American National Red Cross which must be terminated in view of the The Fundamental Principles provide a universal standard of reference for all members of the
independence of the Philippines; and Movement. The PNRC, as a member National Society of the Movement, has the duty to
WHEREAS, the volunteer organizations established in the other countries
which have ratified or adhered to the Geneva Red Cross Convention assist uphold the Fundamental Principles and ideals of the Movement. In order to be recognized as
in promoting the health and welfare of their people in peace and in war,
a National Society, the PNRC has to be autonomous and must operate in conformity with the
and through their mutual assistance and cooperation directly and
through their international organizations promote better understanding Fundamental Principles of the Movement.[11]
and sympathy among the peoples of the world. (Emphasis supplied)
The reason for this autonomy is fundamental. To be accepted by warring belligerents as

neutral workers during international or internal armed conflicts, the PNRC volunteers must
The PNRC is a member National Society of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent
not be seen as belonging to any side of the armed conflict. In the Philippines where there is a
Movement (Movement), which is composed of the International Committee of the Red Cross
communist insurgency and a Muslim separatist rebellion, the PNRC cannot be seen as
(ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (International
government-owned or controlled, and neither can the PNRC volunteers be identified as
Federation), and the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (National Societies). The
government personnel or as instruments of government policy. Otherwise, the insurgents or
Movement is united and guided by its seven Fundamental Principles:
separatists will treat PNRC volunteers as enemies when the volunteers tend to the wounded

1. HUMANITY The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in the battlefield or the displaced civilians in conflict areas.
born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the
wounded on the battlefield, endeavors, in its international and
Thus, the PNRC must not only be, but must also be seen to be, autonomous, neutral and
national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever
it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to independent in order to conduct its activities in accordance with the Fundamental Principles.
ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual
understanding, friendship, cooperation and lasting peace amongst all The PNRC must not appear to be an instrument or agency that implements government
peoples. policy; otherwise, it cannot merit the trust of all and cannot effectively carry out its mission
2. IMPARTIALITY It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or
political opinions. It endeavors to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by as a National Red Cross Society.[12] It is imperative that the PNRC must be autonomous,
their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.
3. NEUTRALITY In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the neutral, and independent in relation to the State.
Movement may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in
controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.
4. INDEPENDENCE The Movement is independent. The National To ensure and maintain its autonomy, neutrality, and independence, the PNRC cannot be
Societies, while auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their
owned or controlled by the government. Indeed, the Philippine government does not own
governments and subject to the laws of their respective countries,
must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at the PNRC. The PNRC does not have government assets and does not receive any
all times to act in accordance with the principles of the Movement.
5. VOLUNTARY SERVICE It is a voluntary relief movement not prompted in appropriation from the Philippine Congress.[13] The PNRC is financed primarily by
any manner by desire for gain.
contributions from private individuals and private entities obtained through solicitation
6. UNITY There can be only one Red Cross or one Red Crescent Society in any one country. It
must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory. campaigns organized by its Board of Governors, as provided under Section 11 of the PNRC
7. UNIVERSALITY The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in which all
Societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other, Charter:
is worldwide. (Emphasis supplied)
SECTION 11. As a national voluntary organization, the Philippine National Under Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution,[14] the President appoints all officials and
Red Cross shall be financed primarily by contributions obtained through employees in the Executive branch whose appointments are vested in the President by the
solicitation campaigns throughout the year which shall be organized by Constitution or by law. The President also appoints those whose appointments are not
the Board of Governors and conducted by the Chapters in their otherwise provided by law. Under this Section 16, the law may also authorize the heads of
respective jurisdictions. These fund raising campaigns shall be conducted departments, agencies, commissions, or boards to appoint officers lower in rank than such
independently of other fund drives by other organizations. (Emphasis heads of departments, agencies, commissions or boards.[15] In Rufino v. Endriga,[16] the Court
supplied) explained appointments under Section 16 in this wise:

Under Section 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, the President
The government does not control the PNRC. Under the PNRC Charter, as amended, only six appoints three groups of officers. The first group refers to the heads of
the Executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and
of the thirty members of the PNRC Board of Governors are appointed by the President of consuls, officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval
captain, and other officers whose appointments are vested in the
the Philippines. Thus, twenty-four members, or four-fifths (4/5), of the PNRC Board of
President by the Constitution. The second group refers to those whom
Governors are not appointed by the President. Section 6 of the PNRC Charter, as amended, the President may be authorized by law to appoint. The third group refers
to all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not
provides: otherwise provided by law.

Under the same Section 16, there is a fourth group of lower-ranked officers whose
SECTION 6. The governing powers and authority shall be vested in a
appointments Congress may by law vest in the heads of departments, agencies,
Board of Governors composed of thirty members, six of whom shall be
commissions, or boards. x x x
appointed by the President of the Philippines, eighteen shall be elected
by chapter delegates in biennial conventions and the remaining six shall
xxx
be selected by the twenty-four members of the Board already chosen. x x
x.
In a department in the Executive branch, the head is the Secretary. The law may not
authorize the Undersecretary, acting as such Undersecretary, to appoint lower-ranked
officers in the Executive department. In an agency, the power is vested in the head of the
Thus, of the twenty-four members of the PNRC Board, eighteen are elected by the chapter agency for it would be preposterous to vest it in the agency itself. In a commission, the head
delegates of the PNRC, and six are elected by the twenty-four members already chosen a is the chairperson of the commission. In a board, the head is also the chairperson of the
board. In the last three situations, the law may not also authorize officers other than the
select group where the private sector members have three-fourths majority.Clearly, an heads of the agency, commission, or board to appoint lower-ranked officers.

overwhelming majority of four-fifths of the PNRC Board are elected or chosen by the xxx
private sector members of the PNRC.
The Constitution authorizes Congress to vest the power to appoint lower-ranked officers
specifically in the heads of the specified offices, and in no other person. The word heads
The PNRC Board of Governors, which exercises all corporate powers of the PNRC, elects the refers to the chairpersons of the commissions or boards and not to their members, for
several reasons.
PNRC Chairman and all other officers of the PNRC. The incumbent Chairman of PNRC,

respondent Senator Gordon, was elected, as all PNRC Chairmen are elected, by a private
sector-controlled PNRC Board four-fifths of whom are private sector members of the
The President does not appoint the Chairman of the PNRC. Neither does the head of any
PNRC. The PNRC Chairman is not appointed by the President or by any subordinate
department, agency, commission or board appoint the PNRC Chairman. Thus, the PNRC
government official.
Chairman is not an official or employee of the Executive branch since his appointment does
not fall under Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution. Certainly, the PNRC Chairman is not

an official or employee of the Judiciary or Legislature. This leads us to the obvious conclusion

that the PNRC Chairman is not an official or employee of the Philippine Government. Not An overwhelming four-fifths majority of the PNRC Board are private sector individuals

being a government official or employee, the PNRC Chairman, as such, does not hold a elected to the PNRC Board by the private sector members of the PNRC. The PNRC Board

government office or employment. exercises all corporate powers of the PNRC. The PNRC is controlled by private sector

Under Section 17, Article VII of the Constitution,[17] the President exercises control individuals. Decisions or actions of the PNRC Board are not reviewable by the President. The
over all government offices in the Executive branch. If an office is legally not under the President cannot reverse or modify the decisions or actions of the PNRC Board. Neither can
control of the President, then such office is not part of the Executive branch. In Rufino v.
Endriga,[18] the Court explained the Presidents power of control over all government offices the President reverse or modify the decisions or actions of the PNRC Chairman. It is the
as follows:
PNRC Board that can review, reverse or modify the decisions or actions of the PNRC

Chairman. This proves again that the office of the PNRC Chairman is a private office, not a
Every government office, entity, or agency must fall under the Executive,
Legislative, or Judicial branches, or must belong to one of the government office.
independent constitutional bodies, or must be a quasi-judicial body or Although the State is often represented in the governing bodies of a National Society, this
local government unit. Otherwise, such government office, entity, or can be justified by the need for proper coordination with the public authorities, and the
agency has no legal and constitutional basis for its existence. government representatives may take part in decision-making within a National Society.
However, the freely-elected representatives of a National Societys active members must
The CCP does not fall under the Legislative or Judicial branches of government. The CCP is remain in a large majority in a National Societys governing bodies.[19]
also not one of the independent constitutional bodies. Neither is the CCP a quasi-judicial
body nor a local government unit. Thus, the CCP must fall under the Executive branch. Under
the Revised Administrative Code of 1987, any agency not placed by law or order creating
The PNRC is not government-owned but privately owned. The vast majority of the
them under any specific department falls under the Office of the President.
thousands of PNRC members are private individuals, including students. Under the PNRC
Since the President exercises control over all the executive departments, bureaus, and
offices, the President necessarily exercises control over the CCP which is an office in the Charter, those who contribute to the annual fund campaign of the PNRC are entitled to
Executive branch. In mandating that the President shall have control of all executive . . . membership in the PNRC for one year. Thus, any one between 6 and 65 years of age can be a
offices, Section 17, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution does not exempt any executive office
one performing executive functions outside of the independent constitutional bodies from PNRC member for one year upon contributing P35, P100, P300, P500 or P1,000 for the
the Presidents power of control. There is no dispute that the CCP performs executive, and
not legislative, judicial, or quasi-judicial functions. year.[20] Even foreigners, whether residents or not, can be members of the PNRC. Section 5 of

the PNRC Charter, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1264,[21] reads:


The Presidents power of control applies to the acts or decisions of all officers in the
Executive branch. This is true whether such officers are appointed by the President or by
heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or boards. The power of control means the SEC. 5. Membership in the Philippine National Red Cross shall be open to
power to revise or reverse the acts or decisions of a subordinate officer involving the the entire population in the Philippines regardless of citizenship. Any
exercise of discretion. contribution to the Philippine National Red Cross Annual Fund Campaign
shall entitle the contributor to membership for one year and said
In short, the President sits at the apex of the Executive branch, and exercises control of all contribution shall be deductible in full for taxation purposes.
the executive departments, bureaus, and offices. There can be no instance under the
Constitution where an officer of the Executive branch is outside the control of the President.
The Executive branch is unitary since there is only one President vested with executive power Thus, the PNRC is a privately owned, privately funded, and privately run charitable
exercising control over the entire Executive branch. Any office in the Executive branch that is
not under the control of the President is a lost command whose existence is without any organization. The PNRC is not a government-owned or controlled corporation.
legal or constitutional basis. (Emphasis supplied)
Petitioners anchor their petition on the 1999 case of Camporedondo v. NLRC,[22] which ruled

that the PNRC is a government-owned or controlled corporation. In ruling that the PNRC is a The 1935 Constitution, as amended, was in force when the PNRC was created by special
charter on 22 March 1947. Section 7, Article XIV of the 1935 Constitution, as
government-owned or controlled corporation, the simple test used was whether the
amended, reads:
corporation was created by its own special charter for the exercise of a public function or by
SEC. 7. The Congress shall not, except by general law, provide
incorporation under the general corporation law. Since the PNRC was created under a special
for the formation, organization, or regulation of private corporations,
charter, the Court then ruled that it is a government corporation. However, unless such corporations are owned or controlled by the Government or
any subdivision or instrumentality thereof.
the Camporedondo ruling failed to consider the definition of a government-owned or

controlled corporation as provided under Section 2(13) of the Introductory Provisions of the
The subsequent 1973 and 1987 Constitutions contain similar provisions prohibiting Congress
Administrative Code of 1987: from creating private corporations except by general law. Section 1 of the PNRC Charter,
as amended, creates the PNRC as a body corporate and politic, thus:

SECTION 1. There is hereby created in the Republic of the Philippines a


body corporate and politic to be the voluntary organization officially
SEC. 2. General Terms Defined. x x x
designated to assist the Republic of the Philippines in discharging the
(13) Government-owned or controlled corporation refers to any agency
obligations set forth in the Geneva Conventions and to perform such
organized as a stock or non-stock corporation, vested with functions
other duties as are inherent upon a National Red Cross Society. The
relating to public needs whether governmental or proprietary in
national headquarters of this Corporation shall be located in
nature, and owned by the Government directly or through its
Metropolitan Manila. (Emphasis supplied)
instrumentalities either wholly, or where applicable as in the case of
stock corporations, to the extent of at least fifty-one (51) percent of its
capital stock: Provided, That government-owned or controlled
corporations may be further categorized by the Department of the In Feliciano v. Commission on Audit,[23] the Court explained the constitutional provision
Budget, the Civil Service Commission, and the Commission on Audit for prohibiting Congress from creating private corporations in this wise:
purposes of the exercise and discharge of their respective powers,
functions and responsibilities with respect to such We begin by explaining the general framework under the fundamental
corporations.(Boldfacing and underscoring supplied) law. The Constitution recognizes two classes of corporations. The first
refers to private corporations created under a general law. The second
refers to government-owned or controlled corporations created by
special charters. Section 16, Article XII of the Constitution provides:

A government-owned or controlled corporation must be owned by the government, and in Sec. 16. The Congress shall not, except by general law,
the case of a stock corporation, at least a majority of its capital stock must be owned by the provide for the formation, organization, or regulation
of private corporations. Government-owned or
government. In the case of a non-stock corporation, by analogy at least a majority of the controlled corporations may be created or established
by special charters in the interest of the common
members must be government officials holding such membership by appointment or good and subject to the test of economic viability.
designation by the government. Under this criterion, and as discussed earlier, the
The Constitution emphatically prohibits the creation of private
government does not own or control PNRC. corporations except by general law applicable to all citizens. The purpose
of this constitutional provision is to ban private corporations created by
The PNRC Charter is Violative of the Constitutional Proscription against the Creation special charters, which historically gave certain individuals, families or
of Private Corporations by Special Law groups special privileges denied to other citizens.
1,[28] 2,[29] 3,[30] 4(a),[31]5,[32] 6,[33] 7,[34] 8,[35] 9,[36] 10,[37] 11,[38] 12,[39] and 13[40] of the PNRC
In short, Congress cannot enact a law creating a private corporation Charter, as amended, are void.
with a special charter. Such legislation would be unconstitutional.
Private corporations may exist only under a general law. If the
corporation is private, it must necessarily exist under a general
law. Stated differently, only corporations created under a general law can
qualify as private corporations. Under existing laws, the general law is the
Corporation Code, except that the Cooperative Code governs the
incorporation of cooperatives.
The other provisions[41] of the PNRC Charter remain valid as they can be considered as a

recognition by the State that the unincorporated PNRC is the local National Society of the
The Constitution authorizes Congress to create government-owned or
controlled corporations through special charters. Since International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and thus entitled to the benefits,
private corporations cannot have special charters, it follows that
exemptions and privileges set forth in the PNRC Charter. The other provisions of the PNRC
Congress can create corporations with special charters only if such
corporations are government-owned or controlled.[24] (Emphasis Charter implement the Philippine Governments treaty obligations under Article 4(5) of the
supplied)
Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which provides that to

be recognized as a National Society, the Society must be duly recognized by the legal
In Feliciano, the Court held that the Local Water Districts are government-owned or
government of its country on the basis of the Geneva Conventions and of the national
controlled corporations since they exist by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 198, which
constitutes their special charter. The seed capital assets of the Local Water Districts, such as legislation as a voluntary aid society, auxiliary to the public authorities in the humanitarian
waterworks and sewerage facilities, were public property which were managed, operated by
or under the control of the city, municipality or province before the assets were transferred field.
to the Local Water Districts. The Local Water Districts also receive subsidies and loans from
the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA). In fact, under the 2009 General In sum, we hold that the office of the PNRC Chairman is not a government office or an office
Appropriations Act,[25]the LWUA has a budget amounting to P400,000,000 for its subsidy
requirements.[26] There is no private capital invested in the Local Water Districts. The capital in a government-owned or controlled corporation for purposes of the prohibition in Section
assets and operating funds of the Local Water Districts all come from the government, either
through transfer of assets, loans, subsidies or the income from such assets or funds. 13, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. However, since the PNRC Charter is void insofar as it

creates the PNRC as a private corporation, the PNRC should incorporate under the
The government also controls the Local Water Districts because the municipal or city mayor,
or the provincial governor, appoints all the board directors of the Local Water Corporation Code and register with the Securities and Exchange Commission if it wants to be
Districts. Furthermore, the board directors and other personnel of the Local Water Districts
a private corporation.
are government employees subject to civil service laws and anti-graft laws. Clearly, the Local
Water Districts are considered government-owned or controlled corporations not only
because of their creation by special charter but also because the government in fact owns
and controls the Local Water Districts. WHEREFORE, we declare that the office of the Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross
Just like the Local Water Districts, the PNRC was created through a special charter. However,
is not a government office or an office in a government-owned or controlled corporation for
unlike the Local Water Districts, the elements of government ownership and control are
clearly lacking in the PNRC. Thus, although the PNRC is created by a special charter, it cannot purposes of the prohibition in Section 13, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. We also declare
be considered a government-owned or controlled corporation in the absence of the essential
elements of ownership and control by the government. In creating the PNRC as a corporate that Sections 1, 2, 3, 4(a), 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 of the Charter of the Philippine
entity, Congress was in fact creating a private corporation. However, the constitutional
National Red Cross, or Republic Act No. 95, as amended by Presidential Decree Nos. 1264
prohibition against the creation of private corporations by special charters provides no
exception even for non-profit or charitable corporations. Consequently, the PNRC Charter, and 1643, are VOID because they create the PNRC as a private corporation or grant it
insofar as it creates the PNRC as a private corporation and grants it corporate powers, [27] is
void for being unconstitutional. Thus, Sections corporate powers.SO ORDERED.
DANTE V. LIBAN, REYNALDO M. BERNARDO and G. R. No. 175352
SALVADOR M. VIARI, on August 27, 2009 by movant-intervenor Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), and the
Petitioners, Present: latters Manifestation and Motion to Admit Attached Position Paper[3] filed on December 23,

CORONA, C.J., 2009.


CARPIO,
CARPIO MORALES,
VELASCO, JR., In the Decision,[4] the Court held that respondent did not forfeit his seat in the
NACHURA,
- versus - LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, Senate when he accepted the chairmanship of the PNRC Board of Governors, as the office of
BRION,
the PNRC Chairman is not a government office or an office in a government-owned or
PERALTA,
BERSAMIN, controlled corporation for purposes of the prohibition in Section 13, Article VI of the 1987
DEL CASTILLO,
ABAD, Constitution.[5] The Decision, however, further declared void the PNRC Charter insofar as it
VILLARAMA, JR., creates the PNRC as a private corporation and consequently ruled that the PNRC should
RICHARD J. GORDON, PEREZ,
Respondent. MENDOZA, and incorporate under the Corporation Code and register with the Securities and Exchange
SERENO, JJ.
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RED CROSS, Commission if it wants to be a private corporation.[6] The dispositive portion of the Decision
Intervenor. Promulgated: reads as follows:

January 18, 2011


WHEREFORE, we declare that the office of the Chairman of the
Philippine National Red Cross is not a government office or an office in a
government-owned or controlled corporation for purposes of the
prohibition in Section 13, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. We also
declare that Sections 1, 2, 3, 4(a), 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 of the
Charter of the Philippine National Red Cross, or Republic Act No. 95, as
amended by Presidential Decree Nos. 1264 and 1643, are VOID because
they create the PNRC as a private corporation or grant it corporate
powers.[7]

In his Motion for Clarification and/or for Reconsideration, respondent raises the following
x--------------------------------------------------x grounds: (1) as the issue of constitutionality of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 95 was not raised by

the parties, the Court went beyond the case in deciding such issue; and (2) as the Court
RESOLUTION decided that Petitioners did not have standing to file the instant Petition, the

pronouncement of the Court on the validity of R.A. No. 95 should be considered obiter.[8]
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.:

Respondent argues that the validity of R.A. No. 95 was a non-issue; therefore, it
This resolves the Motion for Clarification and/or for Reconsideration[1] filed on August 10, was unnecessary for the Court to decide on that question. Respondent cites Laurel v.
2009 by respondent Richard J. Gordon (respondent) of the Decision promulgated by this Garcia,[9] wherein the Court said that it will not pass upon a constitutional question although
Court on July 15, 2009 (the Decision), the Motion for Partial Reconsideration[2] filed properly presented by the record if the case can be disposed of on some other ground and
goes on to claim that since this Court, in the Decision, disposed of the petition on some other pronouncements in our Decision dated July 15, 2009 with regard to the nature of the PNRC

ground, i.e., lack of standing of petitioners, there was no need for it to delve into the validity and the constitutionality of some provisions of the PNRC Charter, R.A. No. 95, as amended.

of R.A. No. 95, and the rest of the judgment should be deemed obiter.

As correctly pointed out in respondents Motion, the issue of constitutionality of R.A. No. 95

In its Motion for Partial Reconsideration, PNRC prays that the Court sustain the was not raised by the parties, and was not among the issues defined in the body of the

constitutionality of its Charter on the following grounds: Decision; thus, it was not the very lis mota of the case. We have reiterated the rule as to

when the Court will consider the issue of constitutionality in Alvarez v. PICOP Resources,
A. THE ASSAILED DECISION DECLARING UNCONSTITUTIONAL
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 95 AS AMENDED DEPRIVED INTERVENOR Inc.,[12] thus:
PNRC OF ITS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS.
This Court will not touch the issue of unconstitutionality unless it is the
1. INTERVENOR PNRC WAS NEVER A PARTY TO THE INSTANT very lis mota. It is a well-established rule that a court should not pass
CONTROVERSY. upon a constitutional question and decide a law to be unconstitutional
or invalid, unless such question is raised by the parties and that when it
2. THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 95, AS is raised, if the record also presents some other ground upon which the
AMENDED WAS NEVER AN ISSUE IN THIS CASE. court may [rest] its judgment, that course will be adopted and the
constitutional question will be left for consideration until such question
B. THE CURRENT CHARTER OF PNRC IS PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1264 will be unavoidable.[13]
AND NOT REPUBLIC ACT NO. 95. PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1264
WAS NOT A CREATION OF CONGRESS.

C. PNRCS STRUCTURE IS SUI GENERIS; IT IS A CLASS OF ITS OWN. WHILE Under the rule quoted above, therefore, this Court should not have declared void certain
IT IS PERFORMING HUMANITARIAN FUNCTIONS AS AN AUXILIARY
sections of R.A. No. 95, as amended by Presidential Decree (P.D.) Nos. 1264 and 1643, the
TO GOVERNMENT, IT IS A NEUTRAL ENTITY SEPARATE AND
INDEPENDENT OF GOVERNMENT CONTROL, YET IT DOES NOT PNRC Charter. Instead, the Court should have exercised judicial restraint on this matter,
QUALIFY AS STRICTLY PRIVATE IN CHARACTER.
especially since there was some other ground upon which the Court could have based its

judgment. Furthermore, the PNRC, the entity most adversely affected by this declaration of
In his Comment and Manifestation[10] filed on November 9, 2009, respondent
unconstitutionality, which was not even originally a party to this case, was being compelled,
manifests: (1) that he agrees with the position taken by the PNRC in its Motion for Partial
as a consequence of the Decision, to suddenly reorganize and incorporate under the
Reconsideration dated August 27, 2009; and (2) as of the writing of said Comment and
Corporation Code, after more than sixty (60) years of existence in this country.
Manifestation, there was pending before the Congress of the Philippines a proposed bill

entitled An Act Recognizing the PNRC as an Independent, Autonomous, Non-Governmental


Its existence as a chartered corporation remained unchallenged on ground of
Organization Auxiliary to the Authorities of the Republic of the Philippines in the
unconstitutionality notwithstanding that R.A. No. 95 was enacted on March 22, 1947 during
Humanitarian Field, to be Known as The Philippine Red Cross.[11]
the effectivity of the 1935 Constitution, which provided for a proscription against the

creation of private corporations by special law, to wit:


After a thorough study of the arguments and points raised by the respondent as well as those

of movant-intervenor in their respective motions, we have reconsidered our


SEC. 7. The Congress shall not, except by general law, provide
for the formation, organization, or regulation of private corporations, Convention). By that action the Philippines indicated its desire to participate with the nations
unless such corporations are owned and controlled by the Government of the world in mitigating the suffering caused by war and to establish in the Philippines a
or any subdivision or instrumentality thereof. (Art. XIV, 1935
Constitution.) voluntary organization for that purpose and like other volunteer organizations established in

other countries which have ratified the Geneva Conventions, to promote the health and

Similar provisions are found in Article XIV, Section 4 of the 1973 Constitution and Article XII, welfare of the people in peace and in war.[14]

Section 16 of the 1987 Constitution.The latter reads:


The provisions of R.A. No. 95, as amended by R.A. Nos. 855 and 6373, and further
SECTION 16. The Congress shall not, except by general law,
amended by P.D. Nos. 1264 and 1643, show the historical background and legal basis of the
provide for the formation, organization, or regulation of private
corporations. Government-owned or controlled corporations may be creation of the PNRC by legislative fiat, as a voluntary organization impressed with public
created or established by special charters in the interest of the common
good and subject to the test of economic viability. interest. Pertinently R.A. No. 95, as amended by P.D. 1264, provides:

WHEREAS, during the meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on 22


Since its enactment, the PNRC Charter was amended several times, particularly on June 11, August 1894, the nations of the world unanimously agreed to diminish
within their power the evils inherent in war;
1953, August 16, 1971, December 15, 1977, and October 1, 1979, by virtue of R.A. No. 855,
WHEREAS, more than one hundred forty nations of the world
R.A. No. 6373, P.D. No. 1264, and P.D. No. 1643, respectively. The passage of several laws
have ratified or adhered to the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949
relating to the PNRCs corporate existence notwithstanding the effectivity of the for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick of Armed
Forces in the Field and at Sea, The Prisoners of War, and The Civilian
constitutional proscription on the creation of private corporations by law, is a recognition Population in Time of War referred to in this Charter as the Geneva
that the PNRC is not strictly in the nature of a private corporation contemplated by the Conventions;

aforesaid constitutional ban. WHEREAS, the Republic of the Philippines became an


independent nation on July 4, 1946, and proclaimed on February 14,
1947 its adherence to the Geneva Conventions of 1929, and by the
A closer look at the nature of the PNRC would show that there is none like it not action, indicated its desire to participate with the nations of the world
in mitigating the suffering caused by war and to establish in the
just in terms of structure, but also in terms of history, public service and official status Philippines a voluntary organization for that purpose as contemplated
by the Geneva Conventions;
accorded to it by the State and the international community. There is merit in PNRCs

contention that its structure is sui generis. WHEREAS, there existed in the Philippines since 1917 a chapter
of the American National Red Cross which was terminated in view of the
independence of the Philippines; and
The PNRC succeeded the chapter of the American Red Cross which was in existence
WHEREAS, the volunteer organizations established in other
in the Philippines since 1917. It was created by an Act of Congress after the Republic of the countries which have ratified or adhered to the Geneva
Conventions assist in promoting the health and welfare of their people
Philippines became an independent nation on July 6, 1946 and proclaimed on February 14, in peace and in war, and through their mutual assistance and
1947 its adherence to the Convention of Geneva of July 29, 1929 for the Amelioration of the cooperation directly and through their international organizations
promote better understanding and sympathy among the people of the
Condition of the Wounded and Sick of Armies in the Field (the Geneva Red Cross world;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the
Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution as (e) To devise and promote such other services in time of peace
Commander-in-Chief of all the Armed Forces of the Philippines and and in time of war as may be found desirable in improving the health,
pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081 dated September 21, 1972, and safety and welfare of the Filipino people;
General Order No. 1 dated September 22, 1972, do hereby decree and
order that Republic Act No. 95, Charter of the Philippine National Red (f) To devise such means as to make every citizen and/or
Cross (PNRC) as amended by Republic Acts No. 855 and 6373, be further resident of the Philippines a member of the Red Cross.
amended as follows:

Section 1. There is hereby created in the Republic of the The PNRC is one of the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which,
Philippines a body corporate and politic to be the voluntary
organization officially designated to assist the Republic of the together with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the IFRC and RCS,
Philippines in discharging the obligations set forth in the Geneva
make up the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (the Movement).They
Conventions and to perform such other duties as are inherent upon a
national Red Cross Society. The national headquarters of this constitute a worldwide humanitarian movement, whose mission is:
Corporation shall be located in Metropolitan Manila. (Emphasis
supplied.)
[T]o prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found, to
protect life and health and ensure respect for the human being, in
particular in times of armed conflict and other emergencies, to work for
The significant public service rendered by the PNRC can be gleaned from Section 3 the prevention of disease and for the promotion of health and social
welfare, to encourage voluntary service and a constant readiness to give
of its Charter, which provides:
help by the members of the Movement, and a universal sense of
solidarity towards all those in need of its protection and assistance.[15]
Section 3. That the purposes of this Corporation shall be as
follows:
The PNRC works closely with the ICRC and has been involved in humanitarian
(a) To provide volunteer aid to the sick and wounded of armed
forces in time of war, in accordance with the spirit of and under the activities in the Philippines since 1982.Among others, these activities in the country include:
conditions prescribed by the Geneva Conventions to which the Republic
of the Philippines proclaimed its adherence;
1. Giving protection and assistance to civilians displaced or otherwise affected by
(b) For the purposes mentioned in the preceding sub-section, to
perform all duties devolving upon the Corporation as a result of the armed clashes between the government and armed opposition groups,
adherence of the Republic of the Philippines to the said Convention;
primarily in Mindanao;
(c) To act in matters of voluntary relief and in accordance with 2. Working to minimize the effects of armed hostilities and violence on the
the authorities of the armed forces as a medium of communication
between people of the Republic of the Philippines and their Armed population;
Forces, in time of peace and in time of war, and to act in such matters
between similar national societies of other governments and the 3. Visiting detainees; and
Governments and people and the Armed Forces of the Republic of the 4. Promoting awareness of international humanitarian law in the public and
Philippines;
private sectors.[16]
(d) To establish and maintain a system of national and
international relief in time of peace and in time of war and apply the
same in meeting and emergency needs caused by typhoons, flood, fires,
earthquakes, and other natural disasters and to devise and carry on
measures for minimizing the suffering caused by such disasters;
Furthermore, the National Societies are considered to
National Societies such as the PNRC act as auxiliaries to the public authorities of be auxiliaries to the public authorities in the humanitarian field. x x x.
their own countries in the humanitarian field and provide a range of services including
The auxiliary status of [a] Red Cross Society means that it is at
disaster relief and health and social programmes. one and the same time a private institution and a public service
organization because the very nature of its work implies cooperation
with the authorities, a link with the State. In carrying out their major
The International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) and Red Crescent Societies (RCS) functions, Red Cross Societies give their humanitarian support to official
bodies, in general having larger resources than the Societies, working
Position Paper,[17] submitted by the PNRC, is instructive with regard to the elements of the towards comparable ends in a given sector.
specific nature of the National Societies such as the PNRC, to wit:
x x x No other organization has a duty to be its governments
humanitarian partner while remaining independent.[18](Emphases ours.)
National Societies, such as the Philippine National Red Cross
and its sister Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, have certain
specificities deriving from the 1949 Geneva Convention and the Statutes
It is in recognition of this sui generis character of the PNRC that R.A. No. 95 has remained
of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (the
Movement). They are also guided by the seven Fundamental Principles of valid and effective from the time of its enactment in March 22, 1947 under the 1935
the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement: Humanity, Impartiality,
Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality. Constitution and during the effectivity of the 1973 Constitution and the 1987 Constitution.

A National Society partakes of a sui generis character. It is a


protected component of the Red Cross movement under Articles 24 and
26 of the First Geneva Convention, especially in times of armed The PNRC Charter and its amendatory laws have not been questioned or
conflict. These provisions require that the staff of a National Society shall
challenged on constitutional grounds, not even in this case before the Court now.
be respected and protected in all circumstances. Such protection is not
ordinarily afforded by an international treaty to ordinary private entities
or even non-governmental organisations (NGOs). This sui
generis character is also emphasized by the Fourth Geneva Convention In the Decision, the Court, citing Feliciano v. Commission on Audit,[19] explained that the
which holds that an Occupying Power cannot require any change in the
personnel or structure of a National Society. National societies are purpose of the constitutional provision prohibiting Congress from creating private
therefore organizations that are directly regulated by international
humanitarian law, in contrast to other ordinary private entities, corporations was to prevent the granting of special privileges to certain individuals, families,
including NGOs. or groups, which were denied to other groups. Based on the above discussion, it can be seen

xxxx that the PNRC Charter does not come within the spirit of this constitutional provision, as it

does not grant special privileges to a particular individual, family, or group, but creates an
In addition, National Societies are not only officially recognized
by their public authorities as voluntary aid societies, auxiliary to the entity that strives to serve the common good.
public authorities in the humanitarian field, but also benefit from
recognition at the International level. This is considered to be an element
distinguishing National Societies from other organisations (mainly NGOs)
Furthermore, a strict and mechanical interpretation of Article XII, Section 16 of the 1987
and other forms of humanitarian response.
Constitution will hinder the State in adopting measures that will serve the public good or
x x x. No other organisation belongs to a world-wide Movement
in which all Societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities national interest. It should be noted that a special law, R.A. No. 9520, the Philippine
and duties in helping each other. This is considered to be the essence of Cooperative Code of 2008, and not the general corporation code, vests corporate power and
the Fundamental Principle of Universality.
capacities upon cooperatives which are private corporations, in order to implement the International Committee, the PNRC must have an autonomous status, and carry out its

States avowed policy. humanitarian mission in a neutral and impartial manner.

In the Decision of July 15, 2009, the Court recognized the public service rendered
However, in accordance with the Fundamental Principle of Voluntary Service of
by the PNRC as the governments partner in the observance of its international commitments,
National Societies of the Movement, the PNRC must be distinguished from private and profit-
to wit:
making entities. It is the main characteristic of National Societies that they are not inspired

The PNRC is a non-profit, donor-funded, voluntary, humanitarian by the desire for financial gain but by individual commitment and devotion to a humanitarian
organization, whose mission is to bring timely, effective, and purpose freely chosen or accepted as part of the service that National Societies through its
compassionate humanitarian assistance for the most vulnerable without
consideration of nationality, race, religion, gender, social status, or volunteers and/or members render to the Community.[23]
political affiliation. The PNRC provides six major services: Blood Services,
Disaster Management, Safety Services, Community Health and Nursing,
Social Services and Voluntary Service. The PNRC, as a National Society of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent

The Republic of the Philippines, adhering to the Geneva Movement, can neither be classified as an instrumentality of the State, so as not to lose its
Conventions, established the PNRC as a voluntary organization for the
character of neutrality as well as its independence, nor strictly as a private corporation since
purpose contemplated in the Geneva Convention of 27 July 1929. x x
x.[20] (Citations omitted.) it is regulated by international humanitarian law and is treated as an auxiliary of the State.[24]

So must this Court recognize too the countrys adherence to the Geneva Based on the above, the sui generis status of the PNRC is now sufficiently

Convention and respect the unique status of the PNRC in consonance with its treaty established. Although it is neither a subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of the

obligations. The Geneva Convention has the force and effect of law.[21] Under the government, nor a government-owned or -controlled corporation or a subsidiary thereof, as

Constitution, the Philippines adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as succinctly explained in the Decision of July 15, 2009, so much so that respondent, under the

part of the law of the land.[22] This constitutional provision must be reconciled and Decision, was correctly allowed to hold his position as Chairman thereof concurrently while

harmonized with Article XII, Section 16 of the Constitution, instead of using the latter to he served as a Senator, such a conclusion does not ipso facto imply that the PNRC is a private

negate the former. corporation within the contemplation of the provision of the Constitution, that must be

organized under the Corporation Code. As correctly mentioned by Justice Roberto A. Abad,

By requiring the PNRC to organize under the Corporation Code just like any other the sui generis character of PNRC requires us to approach controversies involving the PNRC

private corporation, the Decision of July 15, 2009 lost sight of the PNRCs special status under on a case-to-case basis.

international humanitarian law and as an auxiliary of the State, designated to assist it in


discharging its obligations under the Geneva Conventions. Although the PNRC is called to be In sum, the PNRC enjoys a special status as an important ally and auxiliary of the

independent under its Fundamental Principles, it interprets such independence as inclusive government in the humanitarian field in accordance with its commitments under

of its duty to be the governments humanitarian partner. To be recognized in the international law. This Court cannot all of a sudden refuse to recognize its existence,

especially since the issue of the constitutionality of the PNRC Charter was never raised by the
parties. It bears emphasizing that the PNRC has responded to almost all national disasters

since 1947, and is widely known to provide a substantial portion of the countrys blood

requirements. Its humanitarian work is unparalleled. The Court should not shake its existence

to the core in an untimely and drastic manner that would not only have negative

consequences to those who depend on it in times of disaster and armed hostilities but also

have adverse effects on the image of the Philippines in the international community. The

sections of the PNRC Charter that were declared void must therefore stay.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, respondent Richard J. Gordons Motion for

Clarification and/or for Reconsideration and movant-intervenor PNRCs Motion for Partial

Reconsideration of the Decision in G.R. No. 175352 dated July 15, 2009 are GRANTED. The

constitutionality of R.A. No. 95, as amended, the charter of the Philippine National Red Cross,

was not raised by the parties as an issue and should not have been passed upon by this

Court. The structure of the PNRC is sui generis being neither strictly private nor public in

nature. R.A. No. 95 remains valid and constitutional in its entirety. The dispositive portion of

the Decision should therefore be MODIFIED by deleting the second sentence, to now read as

follows:

WHEREFORE, we declare that the office of the Chairman of the


Philippine National Red Cross is not a government office or an office in a
government-owned or controlled corporation for purposes of the
prohibition in Section 13, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.

SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 73155 July 11, 1986 SEC. 6. This Act shall takeeffect upon its approval.(Rollo, pp. 23-24)

PATRICIO TAN, FELIX FERRER, JUAN M. HAGAD, SERGIO HILADO, VIRGILIO GASTON, Petitioners contend that Batas Pambansa Blg. 885 is unconstitutional and
CONCHITA MINAYA, TERESITA ESTACIO, DESIDERIO DEFERIA, ROMEO GAMBOA, ALBERTO it is not in complete accord with the Local Government Code as in Article
LACSON, FE HOFILENA, EMILY JISON, NIEVES LOPEZ AND CECILIA MAGSAYSAY, petitioners, XI, Section 3 of our Constitution, it is expressly mandated that
vs.
THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and THE PROVINCIAL TREASURER OF NEGROS See. 3. No province, city, municipality or barrio may be created, divided,
OCCIDENTAL,respondents. merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially altered, except in
accordance with the criteria established in the local government code,
Gamboa & Hofilea Law Office for petitioners. and subject to the approval by a majority of the votes in a plebiscite in
the unit or units affected.
ALAMPAY, J.:
Section 197 of the Local Government Code enumerates the conditions which must exist to
Prompted by the enactment of Batas Pambansa Blg. 885-An Act Creating a New Province in provide the legal basis for the creation of a provincial unit and these requisites are:
the Island of Negros to be known as the Province of Negros del Norte, which took effect on
December 3, 1985, Petitioners herein, who are residents of the Province of Negros SEC. 197. Requisites for Creation. A province may be created if it has a
Occidental, in the various cities and municipalities therein, on December 23, 1985, filed with territory of at least three thousand five hundred square kilometers, a
this Court a case for Prohibition for the purpose of stopping respondents Commission on population of at least five hundred thousand persons, an average
Elections from conducting the plebiscite which, pursuant to and in implementation of the estimated annual income, as certified by the Ministry of Finance, of not
aforesaid law, was scheduled for January 3, 1986. Said law provides: less than ten million pesos for the last three consecutive years, and its
creation shall not reduce the population and income of the mother
SECTION 1. The Cities of Silay, Cadiz, and San Carlos and the province or provinces at the time of said creation to less than the
municipalities of Calatrava, Taboso, Escalante, Sagay, Manapla, Victorias, minimum requirements under this section. The territory need not be
E.R. Magalona; and Salvador Benedicto, all in the northern portion of the contiguous if it comprises two or more islands.
Island of Negros, are hereby separated from the province to be known as
the Province of Negros del Norte. The average estimated annual income shall include the income alloted
for both the general and infrastructural funds, exclusive of trust funds,
SEC. 2. The boundaries of the new province shall be the southern limits of transfers and nonrecurring income. (Rollo, p. 6)
the City of Silay, the Municipality of Salvador Benedicto and the City of
San Carlos on the south and the territorial limits of the northern portion Due to the constraints brought about by the supervening Christmas holidays during which
to the Island of Negros on the west, north and east, comprising a territory the Court was in recess and unable to timely consider the petition, a supplemental pleading
of 4,019.95 square kilometers more or less. was filed by petitioners on January 4, 1986, averring therein that the plebiscite sought to be
restrained by them was held on January 3, 1986 as scheduled but that there are still serious
SEC. 3. The seat of government of the new province shall be the City of issues raised in the instant case affecting the legality, constitutionality and validity of such
Cadiz. exercise which should properly be passed upon and resolved by this Court.

SEC. 4. A plebiscite shall be conducted in the proposed new province The plebiscite was confined only to the inhabitants of the territory of Negros del Nrte,
which are the areas affected within a period of one hundred and twenty namely: the Cities of Silay, Cadiz, and San Carlos, and the municipalities of Calatrava, Taboso,
days from the approval of this Act. After the ratification of the creation of Escalante, Sagay, Manapla, Victorias, E.B. Magalona and Don Salvador Benedicto. Because of
the Province of Negros del Norte by a majority of the votes cast in such the exclusions of the voters from the rest of the province of Negros Occidental, petitioners
plebiscite, the President of the Philippines shall appoint the first officials found need to change the prayer of their petition "to the end that the constitutional issues
of the province. which they have raised in the action will be ventilated and given final resolution.'"At the
same time, they asked that the effects of the plebiscite which they sought to stop be
suspended until the Supreme Court shall have rendered its decision on the very fundamental
SEC. 5. The Commission on Elections shall conduct and supervise the
and far-reaching questions that petitioners have brought out.
plebiscite herein provided, the expenses for which shall be charged to
local funds.
Acknowledging in their supplemental petition that supervening events rendered moot the Respondents argue that the remaining cities and municipalities of the Province of Negros
prayer in their initial petition that the plebiscite scheduled for January 3, 1986, be enjoined, Occidental not included in the area of the new Province of Negros del Norte, de not fall
petitioners plead, nevertheless, that- within the meaning and scope of the term "unit or units affected", as referred to in Section 3
of Art. XI of our Constitution. On this reasoning, respondents maintain that Batas Pambansa
... a writ of Prohibition be issued, directed to Respondent Commission on Blg. 885 does not violate the Constitution, invoking and citing the case of Governor Zosimo
Elections to desist from issuing official proclamation of the results of the Paredes versus the Honorable Executive Secretary to the President, et al. (G.R. No. 55628,
plebiscite held on January 3, 1986. March 2, 1984 (128 SCRA 61), particularly the pronouncements therein, hereunder quoted:

Finding that the exclusion and non-participation of the voters of the 1. Admittedly,this is one of those cases where the discretion of the Court
Province of Negros Occidental other than those living within the territory is allowed considerable leeway. There is indeed an element of ambiguity
of the new province of Negros del Norte to be not in accordance with the in the use of the expression 'unit or units affected'. It is plausible to assert
Constitution, that a writ of mandamus be issued, directed to the as petitioners do that when certain Barangays are separated from a
respondent Commission on Elections, to schedule the holding of another parent municipality to form a new one, all the voters therein are
plebiscite at which all the qualified voters of the entire Province of affected. It is much more persuasive, however, to contend as
Negros Occidental as now existing shall participate, at the same time respondents do that the acceptable construction is for those voters, who
making pronouncement that the plebiscite held on January 3, 1986 has are not from the barangays to be separated, should be excluded in the
no legal effect, being a patent legal nullity; plebiscite.

And that a similar writ of Prohibition be issued, directed to the 2. For one thing, it is in accordance with the settled doctrine that
respondent Provincial Treasurer, to desist from ordering the release of between two possible constructions, one avoiding a finding of
any local funds to answer for expenses incurred in the holding of such unconstitutionality and the other yielding such a result, the former is to
plebiscite until ordered by the Court. (Rollo pp. 9-10). be preferred. That which will save, not that which will destroy,
commends itself for acceptance. After all, the basic presumption all these
years is one of validity. ...
Petitioners further prayed that the respondent COMELEC hold in
abeyance the issuance of any official proclamation of the results of the
aforestated plebiscite. 3. ... Adherence to such philosophy compels the conclusion that when
there are indications that the inhabitants of several barangays are
inclined to separate from a parent municipality they should be allowed to
During the pendency of this case, a motion that he be allowed to appear as amicus curiae in
do so. What is more logical than to ascertain their will in a plebiscite
this case (dated December 27, 1985 and filed with the Court on January 2, 1986) was
called for that purpose. It is they, and they alone, who shall constitute the
submitted by former Senator Ambrosio Padilla. Said motion was granted in Our resolution of
new unit. New responsibilities will be assumed. New burdens will be
January 2, 1986.
imposed. A new municipal corporation will come into existence. Its birth
will be a matter of choice-their choice. They should be left alone then to
Acting on the petition, as well as on the supplemental petition for prohibition with decide for themselves. To allow other voters to participate will not yield a
preliminary injunction with prayer for restraining order, the Court, on January 7, 1986 true expression of their will. They may even frustrate it, That certainly
resolved, without giving due course to the same, to require respondents to comment, not to will be so if they vote against it for selfish reasons, and they constitute
file a motion to dismiss. Complying with said resolution, public respondents, represented by the majority. That is not to abide by the fundamental principle of the
the Office of the Solicitor General, on January 14, 1986, filed their Comment, arguing therein Constitution to promote local autonomy, the preference being for
that the challenged statute.-Batas Pambansa 885, should be accorded the presumption of smaller units. To rule as this Tribunal does is to follow an accepted
legality. They submit that the said law is not void on its face and that the petition does not principle of constitutional construction, that in ascertaining the meaning
show a clear, categorical and undeniable demonstration of the supposed infringement of the of a particular provision that may give rise to doubts, the intent of the
Constitution. Respondents state that the powers of the Batasang-Pambansa to enact the framers and of the people may be gleaned from provisions in pari
assailed law is beyond question. They claim that Batas Pambansa Big. 885 does not infringe materia.
the Constitution because the requisites of the Local Government Code have been complied
with. Furthermore, they submit that this case has now become moot and academic with the
Respondents submit that said ruling in the aforecited case applies equally with force in the
proclamation of the new Province of Negros del Norte.
case at bar. Respondents also maintain that the requisites under the Local Government Code
(P.D. 337) for the creation of the new province of Negros del Norte have all been duly
complied with, Respondents discredit petitioners' allegations that the requisite area of 3,500
square kilometers as so prescribed in the Local Government Code for a new province to be E.R. Magalona; and Salvador Benedicto, all in the northern portion of the
created has not been satisfied. Petitioners insist that the area which would comprise the new Island of Negros, are hereby separated from the Province of Negros
province of Negros del Norte, would only be about 2,856.56 square kilometers and which Occidental and constituted into a new province to be known as the
evidently would be lesser than the minimum area prescribed by the governing statute. Province of Negros del Norte.
Respondents, in this regard, point out and stress that Section 2 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 885
creating said new province plainly declares that the territorial boundaries of Negros del SEC. 1. The boundaries of the new province shall be the southern limits of
Norte comprise an area of 4,019.95 square kilometers, more or less. the City of Silay, the Municipality of Salvador Benedicto and the City of
San Carlos on the south and the territorial limits of the northern portion
As a final argument, respondents insist that instant petition has been rendered moot and of the Island of Negros on the West, North and East, comprising a
academic considering that a plebiscite has been already conducted on January 3, 1986; that territory of 4,019.95 square kilometers more or less.
as a result thereof, the corresponding certificate of canvass indicated that out of 195,134
total votes cast in said plebiscite, 164,734 were in favor of the creation of Negros del Norte Equally accepted by the parties is the fact that under the certification issued by Provincial
and 30,400 were against it; and because "the affirmative votes cast represented a majority of Treasurer Julian L. Ramirez of the Province of Negros Occidental, dated July 16, 1985, it was
the total votes cast in said plebiscite, the Chairman of the Board of Canvassers proclaimed therein certified as follows:
the new province which shall be known as "Negros del Norte". Thus, respondents stress the
fact that following the proclamation of Negros del Norte province, the appointments of the
xxx xxx xxx
officials of said province created were announced. On these considerations, respondents
urge that this case should be dismissed for having been rendered moot and academic as the
creation of the new province is now a "fait accompli." This is to certify that the following cities and municipalities of Negros
Occidental have the land area as indicated hereunder based on the
Special Report No. 3, Philippines 1980, Population, Land Area and
In resolving this case, it will be useful to note and emphasize the facts which appear to be
Density: 1970, 1975 and 1980 by the National Census and Statistics
agreed to by the parties herein or stand unchallenged.
Office, Manila.

Firstly, there is no disagreement that the Provincial Treasurer of the Province of Negros
Land Area
Occidental has not disbursed, nor was required to disburse any public funds in connection
with the plebiscite held on January 3, 1986 as so disclosed in the Comment to the Petition
filed by the respondent Provincial Treasurer of Negros Occidental dated January 20, 1986 (Sq. Km.)
(Rollo, pp. 36-37). Thus, the prayer of the petitioners that said Provincial Treasurer be
directed by this Court to desist from ordering the release of any public funds on account of 1. Silay City ...................................................................214.8
such plebiscite should not longer deserve further consideration.
2. E.B. Magalona............................................................113.3
Secondly, in Parliamentary Bill No. 3644 which led to the enactment of Batas Pambansa Blg.
885 and the creation of the new Province of Negros del Norte, it expressly declared in Sec. 2 3. Victorias.....................................................................133.9
of the aforementioned Parliamentary Bill, the following:

4. Manapla......................................................................112.9
SEC. 2. The boundaries of the new province shall be the southern limits of
the City of Silay, the Municipality of Salvador Benedicto and the City of
San Carlos on the South and the natural boundaries of the northern 5. Cadiz City ..................................................................516.5
portion of the Island of Negros on the West, North and East, containing
an area of 285,656 hectares more or less. (Emphasis supplied). 6. Sagay .........................................................................389.6

However, when said Parliamentary Bill No. 3644 was very quickly enacted into Batas 7. Escalante ....................................................................124.0
Pambansa Blg. 885, the boundaries of the new Province of Negros del Norte were defined
therein and its boundaries then stated to be as follows: 8. Toboso.......................................................................123.4

SECTION 1. The Cities of Silay, Cadiz, and San Carlos and the 9. Calatrava.....................................................................504.5
municipalities of Calatrava, Toboso, Escalante, Sagay, Manapla, Victorias,
10. San Carlos City...........................................................451.3 existing province. In this instance, the voters in the remaining areas of the province of Negros
Occidental should have been allowed to participate in the questioned plebiscite.
11. Don Salvador Benedicto.................................... (not available)
Considering that the legality of the plebiscite itself is challenged for non-compliance with
This certification is issued upon the request of Dr. Patricio Y. Tan for constitutional requisites, the fact that such plebiscite had been held and a new province
whatever purpose it may serve him. proclaimed and its officials appointed, the case before Us cannot truly be viewed as already
moot and academic. Continuation of the existence of this newly proclaimed province which
petitioners strongly profess to have been illegally born, deserves to be inquired into by this
(SGD.) JULIAN L. RAMIREZ
Tribunal so that, if indeed, illegality attaches to its creation, the commission of that error
should not provide the very excuse for perpetuation of such wrong. For this Court to yield to
Provincial Treasurer (Exh. "C" of Petition, Rollo, p. 90). the respondents' urging that, as there has been fait accompli then this Court should passively
accept and accede to the prevailing situation is an unacceptable suggestion. Dismissal of the
Although in the above certification it is stated that the land area of the relatively new instant petition, as respondents so propose is a proposition fraught with mischief.
municipality of Don Salvador Benedicto is not available, it is an uncontradicted fact that the Respondents' submission will create a dangerous precedent. Should this Court decline now
area comprising Don Salvador municipality, one of the component units of the new province, to perform its duty of interpreting and indicating what the law is and should be, this might
was derived from the City of San Carlos and from the Municipality of Calatrava, Negros tempt again those who strut about in the corridors of power to recklessly and with ulterior
Occidental, and added thereto was a portion of about one-fourth the land area of the town motives, create, merge, divide and/or alter the boundaries of political subdivisions, either
of Murcia, Negros Occidental. It is significant to note the uncontroverted submission of brazenly or stealthily, confident that this Court will abstain from entertaining future
petitioners that the total land area of the entire municipality of Murcia, Negros Occidental is challenges to their acts if they manage to bring about a fait accompli.
only 322.9 square kilometers (Exh. "D", Rollo, p. 91). One-fourth of this total land area of
Murcia that was added to the portions derived from the land area of Calatrava, Negros In the light of the facts and circumstances alluded to by petitioners as attending to the
Occidental and San Carlos City (Negros Occidental) would constitute, therefore, only 80.2 unusually rapid creation of the instant province of Negros del Norte after a swiftly scheduled
square kilometers. This area of 80.2 square kilometers if then added to 2,685.2 square plebiscite, this Tribunal has the duty to repudiate and discourage the commission of acts
kilometers, representing the total land area of the Cities of Silay, San Carlos and Cadiz and which run counter to the mandate of our fundamental law, done by whatever branch of our
the Municipalities of E.R. Magalona, Victorias, Manapla, Sagay, Escalante, Taboso and government. This Court gives notice that it will not look with favor upon those who may be
Calatrava, will result in approximately an area of only 2,765.4 square kilometers using as hereafter inclined to ram through all sorts of legislative measures and then implement the
basis the Special Report, Philippines 1980, Population, Land Area and Density: 1970, 1975 same with indecent haste, even if such acts would violate the Constitution and the prevailing
and 1980 of the National Census and Statistics Office, Manila (see Exhibit "C", Rollo, p. 90). statutes of our land. It is illogical to ask that this Tribunal be blind and deaf to protests on the
ground that what is already done is done. To such untenable argument the reply would be
No controversion has been made by respondent with respect to the allegations of petitioners that, be this so, the Court, nevertheless, still has the duty and right to correct and rectify the
that the original provision in the draft legislation, Parliamentary Bill No. 3644, reads: wrong brought to its attention.

SEC. 4. A plebiscite shall be conducted in the areas affected within a On the merits of the case.
period of one hundred and twenty days from the approval of this Act.
After the ratification of the creation of the Province of Negros del Norte Aside from the simpler factual issue relative to the land area of the new province of Negros
by a majority of the votes cast in such plebiscite, the President shall del Norte, the more significant and pivotal issue in the present case revolves around in the
appoint the first officials of the new province. interpretation and application in the case at bar of Article XI, Section 3 of the Constitution,
which being brief and for convenience, We again quote:
However, when Batas Pambansa Blg. 885 was enacted, there was a significant change in the
above provision. The statute, as modified, provides that the requisite plebiscite "shall be SEC. 3. No province, city, municipality or barrio may be created, divided,
conducted in the proposed new province which are the areas affected." merged abolished, or its boundary substantially altered, except in
accordance with the criteria established in the local government code,
It is this legislative determination limiting the plebiscite exclusively to the cities and towns and subject to the approval by a majority of the votes in a plebiscite in
which would comprise the new province that is assailed by the petitioners as violative of the the unit or units affected.
provisions of our Constitution. Petitioners submit that Sec. 3, ART XI thereof, contemplates a
plebiscite that would be held in the unit or units affected by the creation of the new province It can be plainly seen that the aforecited constitutional provision makes it imperative that
as a result of the consequent division of and substantial alteration of the boundaries of the there be first obtained "the approval of a majority of votes in the plebiscite in the unit or
units affected" whenever a province is created, divided or merged and there is substantial This Court is not unmindful of this solitary case alluded to by respondents. What is, however,
alteration of the boundaries. It is thus inescapable to conclude that the boundaries of the highly significant are the prefatory statements therein stating that said case is "one of those
existing province of Negros Occidental would necessarily be substantially altered by the cases where the discretion of the Court is allowed considerable leeway" and that "there is
division of its existing boundaries in order that there can be created the proposed new indeed an element of ambiguity in the use of the expression unit or units affected." The
province of Negros del Norte. Plain and simple logic will demonstrate than that two political ruling rendered in said case was based on a claimed prerogative of the Court then to exercise
units would be affected. The first would be the parent province of Negros Occidental because its discretion on the matter. It did not resolve the question of how the pertinent provision of
its boundaries would be substantially altered. The other affected entity would be composed the Constitution should be correctly interpreted.
of those in the area subtracted from the mother province to constitute the proposed
province of Negros del Norte. The ruling in the aforestated case of Paredes vs. The Honorable Executive Secretary, et al.
(supra) should not be taken as a doctrinal or compelling precedent when it is acknowledged
We find no way to reconcile the holding of a plebiscite that should conform to said therein that "it is plausible to assert, as petitioners do, that when certain Barangays are
constitutional requirement but eliminates the participation of either of these two component separated from a parent municipality to form a new one, all the voters therein are affected."
political units. No amount of rhetorical flourishes can justify exclusion of the parent province
in the plebiscite because of an alleged intent on the part of the authors and implementors of It is relevant and most proper to mention that in the aforecited case of Paredes vs. Executive
the challenged statute to carry out what is claimed to be a mandate to guarantee and Secretary, invoked by respondents, We find very lucidly expressed the strong dissenting view
promote autonomy of local government units. The alleged good intentions cannot prevail of Justice Vicente Abad Santos, a distinguished member of this Court, as he therein voiced his
and overrule the cardinal precept that what our Constitution categorically directs to be done opinion, which We hereunder quote:
or imposes as a requirement must first be observed, respected and complied with. No one
should be allowed to pay homage to a supposed fundamental policy intended to guarantee
2. ... when the Constitution speaks of "the unit or units affected" it means
and promote autonomy of local government units but at the same time transgress, ignore
all of the people of the municipality if the municipality is to be divided
and disregard what the Constitution commands in Article XI Section 3 thereof. Respondents
such as in the case at bar or an of the people of two or more
would be no different from one who hurries to pray at the temple but then spits at the Idol
municipalities if there be a merger. I see no ambiguity in the
therein.
Constitutional provision.

We find no merit in the submission of the respondents that the petition should be dismissed
This dissenting opinion of Justice Vicente Abad Santos is the forerunner of the ruling which
because the motive and wisdom in enacting the law may not be challenged by petitioners.
We now consider applicable to the case at bar, In the analogous case of Emilio C. Lopez, Jr.,
The principal point raised by the petitioners is not the wisdom and motive in enacting the law
versus the Honorable Commission on Elections, L-56022, May 31, 1985, 136 SCRA 633, this
but the infringement of the Constitution which is a proper subject of judicial inquiry.
dissent was reiterated by Justice Abad Santos as he therein assailed as suffering from a
constitutional infirmity a referendum which did not include all the people of Bulacan and
Petitioners' discussion regarding the motives behind the enactment of B.P. Blg. 885 to say Rizal, when such referendum was intended to ascertain if the people of said provinces were
the least, are most enlightening and provoking but are factual issues the Court cannot willing to give up some of their towns to Metropolitan Manila. His dissenting opinion served
properly pass upon in this case. Mention by petitioners of the unexplained changes or as a useful guideline in the instant case.
differences in the proposed Parliamentary Bill No. 3644 and the enacted Batas Pambansa Blg.
885; the swift and surreptitious manner of passage and approval of said law; the abrupt
Opportunity to re-examine the views formerly held in said cases is now afforded the present
scheduling of the plebiscite; the reference to news articles regarding the questionable
Court. The reasons in the mentioned cases invoked by respondents herein were formerly
conduct of the said plebiscite held on January 3, 1986; all serve as interesting reading but are
considered acceptable because of the views then taken that local autonomy would be better
not the decisive matters which should be reckoned in the resolution of this case.
promoted However, even this consideration no longer retains persuasive value.

What the Court considers the only significant submissions lending a little support to
The environmental facts in the case before Us readily disclose that the subject matter under
respondents' case is their reliance on the rulings and pronouncements made by this Court in
consideration is of greater magnitude with concomitant multifarious complicated problems.
the case of Governor Zosimo Paredes versus The Honorable Executive Secretary to the
In the earlier case, what was involved was a division of a barangay which is the smallest
President, et al., G.R. No. 55628, March 2, 1984 (128 SCRA 6). In said case relating to a
political unit in the Local Government Code. Understandably, few and lesser problems are
plebiscite held to ratify the creation of a new municipality from existing barangays, this Court
involved. In the case at bar, creation of a new province relates to the largest political unit
upheld the legality of the plebiscite which was participated in exclusively by the people of the
contemplated in Section 3, Art. XI of the Constitution. To form the new province of Negros
barangay that would constitute the new municipality.
del Norte no less than three cities and eight municipalities will be subtracted from the parent
province of Negros Occidental. This will result in the removal of approximately 2,768.4
square kilometers from the land area of an existing province whose boundaries will be
consequently substantially altered. It becomes easy to realize that the consequent effects cf was a division, a separation; and consequently, as Sec. 3 of Article XI of the Constitution
the division of the parent province necessarily will affect all the people living in the separate anticipates, a substantial alteration of boundary.
areas of Negros Occidental and the proposed province of Negros del Norte. The economy of
the parent province as well as that of the new province will be inevitably affected, either for As contended by petitioners,
the better or for the worse. Whatever be the case, either or both of these political groups
will be affected and they are, therefore, the unit or units referred to in Section 3 of Article XI
Indeed, the terms 'created', 'divided', 'merged', 'abolished' as used in the
of the Constitution which must be included in the plebiscite contemplated therein.
constitutional provision do not contemplate distinct situation isolated
from the mutually exclusive to each other. A Province
It is a well accepted rule that "in ascertaining the meaning of a particular provision that may maybe created where an existing province is divided or two provinces
give rise to doubts, the intent of the framers and of the people, may be gleaned from the merged. Such cases necessarily will involve existing unit or
provisions in pari materia." Parliamentary Bill No. 3644 which proposed the creation of the units abolished and definitely the boundary being substantially altered.
new province of Negros del Norte recites in Sec. 4 thereof that "the plebiscite shall be
conducted in the areas affected within a period of one hundred and twenty days from the
It would thus be inaccurate to state that where an existing political unit is
approval of this Act." As this draft legislation speaks of "areas," what was contemplated
divided or its boundary substantially altered, as the Constitution
evidently are plurality of areas to participate in the plebiscite. Logically, those to be included
provides, only some and not all the voters in the whole unit which suffers
in such plebiscite would be the people living in the area of the proposed new province and
dismemberment or substantial alteration of its boundary are affected.
those living in the parent province. This assumption will be consistent with the requirements
Rather, the contrary is true.
set forth in the Constitution.

It is also Our considered view that even hypothetically assuming that the merits of this case
We fail to find any legal basis for the unexplained change made when Parliamentary Bill No.
can depend on the mere discretion that this Court may exercise, nevertheless, it is the
3644 was enacted into Batas Pambansa Blg. 885 so that it is now provided in said enabling
petitioners' case that deserve to be favored.
law that the plebiscite "shall be conducted in the proposed new province which are the areas
affected." We are not disposed to agree that by mere legislative fiat the unit or units affected
referred in the fundamental law can be diminished or restricted by the Batasang Pambansa It is now time for this Court to set aside the equivocations and the indecisive
to cities and municipalities comprising the new province, thereby ignoring the evident reality pronouncements in the adverted case of Paredes vs. the Honorable Executive Secretary, et
that there are other people necessarily affected. al. (supra). For the reasons already here express, We now state that the ruling in the two
mentioned cases sanctioning the exclusion of the voters belonging to an existing political unit
from which the new political unit will be derived, from participating in the plebiscite
In the mind of the Court, the change made by those responsible for the enactment of Batas
conducted for the purpose of determining the formation of another new political unit, is
Pambansa Blg. 885 betrays their own misgivings. They must have entertained apprehensions
hereby abandoned.
that by holding the plebiscite only in the areas of the new proposed province, this tactic will
be tainted with illegality. In anticipation of a possible strong challenge to the legality of such
a plebiscite there was, therefore, deliberately added in the enacted statute a self-serving In their supplemental petition, dated January 4, 1986, it is prayed for by petitioners that a
phrase that the new province constitutes the area affected. Such additional statement serves writ of mandamus be issued, directing the respondent Commission on Elections, to schedule
no useful purpose for the same is misleading, erroneous and far from truth. The remaining the holding of another plebiscite at which all the qualified voters of the entire province of
portion of the parent province is as much an area affected. The substantial alteration of the Negros Occidental as now existing shall participate and that this Court make a
boundaries of the parent province, not to mention the other adverse economic effects it pronouncement that the plebiscite held on January 3, 1986 has no legal effect for being a
might suffer, eloquently argue the points raised by the petitioners. patent nullity.

Petitioners have averred without contradiction that after the creation of Negros del Norte, The Court is prepared to declare the said plebiscite held on January 3, 1986 as null and void
the province of Negros Occidental would be deprived of the long established Cities of Silay, and violative of the provisions of Sec. 3, Article XI of the Constitution. The Court is not,
Cadiz, and San Carlos, as well as the municipality of Victorias. No controversion has been however, disposed to direct the conduct of a new plebiscite, because We find no legal basis
made regarding petitioners' assertion that the areas of the Province of Negros Occidental will to do so. With constitutional infirmity attaching to the subject Batas Pambansa Big. 885 and
be diminished by about 285,656 hectares and it will lose seven of the fifteen sugar mills also because the creation of the new province of Negros del Norte is not in accordance with
which contribute to the economy of the whole province. In the language of petitioners, "to the criteria established in the Local Government Code, the factual and legal basis for the
create Negros del Norte, the existing territory and political subdivision known as Negros creation of such new province which should justify the holding of another plebiscite does not
Occidental has to be partitioned and dismembered. What was involved was no 'birth' but exist.
"amputation." We agree with the petitioners that in the case of Negros what was involved
Whatever claim it has to validity and whatever recognition has been gained by the new words are used furnished the rule of construction (In re Winton Lumber Co., 63 p. 2d., p.
province of Negros del Norte because of the appointment of the officials thereof, must now 664).
be erased. That Negros del Norte is but a legal fiction should be announced. Its existence
should be put to an end as quickly as possible, if only to settle the complications currently The distinction between "territory" and "land area" which respondents make is an artificial or
attending to its creation. As has been manifested, the parent province of Negros del Norte strained construction of the disputed provision whereby the words of the statute are
has been impleaded as the defendant in a suit filed by the new Province of Negros del Norte, arrested from their plain and obvious meaning and made to bear an entirely different
before the Regional Trial Court of Negros (del Norte), docketed as Civil Case No. 169-C, for meaning to justify an absurd or unjust result. The plain meaning in the language in a statute
the immediate allocation, distribution and transfer of funds by the parent province to the is the safest guide to follow in construing the statute. A construction based on a forced or
new province, in an amount claimed to be at least P10,000,000.00. artificial meaning of its words and out of harmony of the statutory scheme is not to be
favored (Helvering vs. Hutchings, 85 L. Ed., p. 909).
The final nail that puts to rest whatever pretension there is to the legality of the province of
Negros del Norte is the significant fact that this created province does not even satisfy the It would be rather preposterous to maintain that a province with a small land area but which
area requirement prescribed in Section 197 of the Local Government Code, as earlier has a long, narrow, extended coast line, (such as La Union province) can be said to have a
discussed. larger territory than a land-locked province (such as Ifugao or Benguet) whose land area
manifestly exceeds the province first mentioned.
It is of course claimed by the respondents in their Comment to the exhibits submitted by the
petitioners (Exhs. C and D, Rollo, pp. 19 and 91), that the new province has a territory of Allegations have been made that the enactment of the questioned state was marred by
4,019.95 square kilometers, more or less. This assertion is made to negate the proofs "dirty tricks", in the introduction and passing of Parliamentary Bill No. 3644 "in secret haste"
submitted, disclosing that the land area of the new province cannot be more than 3,500 pursuant to sinister designs to achieve "pure and simple gerrymandering; "that recent
square kilometers because its land area would, at most, be only about 2,856 square happenings more than amply demonstrate that far from guaranteeing its autonomy it
kilometers, taking into account government statistics relative to the total area of the cities (Negros del Norte) has become the fiefdom of a local strongman" (Rollo, p. 43; emphasis
and municipalities constituting Negros del Norte. Respondents insist that when Section 197 supplied).
of the Local Government Code speaks of the territory of the province to be created and
requires that such territory be at least 3,500 square kilometers, what is contemplated is not
It is not for this Court to affirm or reject such matters not only because the merits of this case
only the land area but also the land and water over which the said province has jurisdiction
can be resolved without need of ascertaining the real motives and wisdom in the making of
and control. It is even the submission of the respondents that in this regard the marginal sea
the questioned law. No proper challenge on those grounds can also be made by petitioners
within the three mile limit should be considered in determining the extent of the territory of
in this proceeding. Neither may this Court venture to guess the motives or wisdom in the
the new province. Such an interpretation is strained, incorrect, and fallacious.
exercise of legislative powers. Repudiation of improper or unwise actions taken by tools of a
political machinery rests ultimately, as recent events have shown, on the electorate and the
The last sentence of the first paragraph of Section 197 is most revealing. As so stated therein power of a vigilant people.
the "territory need not be contiguous if it comprises two or more islands." The use of the
word territory in this particular provision of the Local Government Code and in the very last
Petitioners herein deserve and should receive the gratitude of the people of the Province of
sentence thereof, clearly reflects that "territory" as therein used, has reference only to the
Negros Occidental and even by our Nation. Commendable is the patriotism displayed by
mass of land area and excludes the waters over which the political unit exercises control.
them in daring to institute this case in order to preserve the continued existence of their
historic province. They were inspired undoubtedly by their faithful commitment to our
Said sentence states that the "territory need not be contiguous." Contiguous means (a) in Constitution which they wish to be respected and obeyed. Despite the setbacks and the
physical contact; (b) touching along all or most of one side; (c) near, text, or adjacent hardships which petitioners aver confronted them, they valiantly and unfalteringly pursued a
(Webster's New World Dictionary, 1972 Ed., p. 307). "Contiguous", when employed as an worthy cause. A happy destiny for our Nation is assured as long as among our people there
adjective, as in the above sentence, is only used when it describes physical contact, or a would be exemplary citizens such as the petitioners herein.
touching of sides of two solid masses of matter. The meaning of particular terms in a statute
may be ascertained by reference to words associated with or related to them in the statute
WHEREFORE, Batas Pambansa Blg. 885 is hereby declared unconstitutional. The proclamation
(Animal Rescue League vs. Assessors, 138 A.L.R. p. 110). Therefore, in the context of the
of the new province of Negros del Norte, as well as the appointment of the officials thereof
sentence above, what need not be "contiguous" is the "territory" the physical mass of land
are also declared null and void. SO ORDERED.
area. There would arise no need for the legislators to use the word contiguous if they had
intended that the term "territory" embrace not only land area but also territorial waters. It
can be safely concluded that the word territory in the first paragraph of Section 197 is meant
to be synonymous with "land area" only. The words and phrases used in a statute should be
given the meaning intended by the legislature (82 C.J.S., p. 636). The sense in which the
G.R. No. L-59180 January 29, 1987 Sec. 3. No province, city, municipality, or barrio may be created, divided, merged, abolished,
or its boundary substantially altered, except in accordance with the criteria established in the
CLEMENTINO TORRALBA and RESOLUTION L. RUGAY, petitioners, Local Government Code, and subject to the approval by a majority of the votes cast in a
vs. plebiscite in the unit or units affected.
THE MUNICIPALITY OF SIBAGAT, PROVINCE OF AGUSAN DEL SUR and ITS MUNICIPAL
OFFICERS,respondents. The thrust of petitioners' argument is that under the aforequoted provision, the Local
Government Code must first be enacted to determine the criteria for the creation, division,
merger, abolition, or substantial alteration of the boundary of any province, city,
municipality, or barrio; and that since no Local Government Code had as yet been enacted as
of the date BP 56 was passed, that statute could not have possibly complied with any criteria
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:
when respondent Municipality was created, hence, it is null and void.

Challenged in the instant Petition, as violative of Section 3, Article XI of the 1973


It is a fact that the Local Government Code came into being only on 10 February 1983 so that
Constitution, is Batas Pambansa Blg. 56, enacted on 1 February 1980, creating the
when BP 56 was enacted, the code was not yet in existence. The evidence likewise discloses
Municipality of Sibagat, Province of Agusan del Sur. The pertinent provisions of BP 56 read:
that a plebiscite had been conducted among the people of the unit/units affected by the
creation of the new Municipality, who expressed approval thereof; and that officials of the
Sec. 1. The barangays of Ilihan, Sinai, Sibagat, El Rio, Afga, Tabontabon, Perez, Magsaysay, newly created Municipality had been appointed and had assumed their respective positions
Santa Cruz, Santa Maria, San Isidro, Villangit, Del Rosario, Anahauan Mahayahay, and San as such.
Vicente, all in the Municipality of Bayugan, Province of Agusan del Sur, are hereby separated
from said municipality to form and constitute an independent Municipality of Sibagat
We find no trace of invalidity of BP 56. The absence of the Local Government Code at the
without affecting in any manner the legal existence of the mother Municipality of Bayugan.
time of its enactment did not curtail nor was it intended to cripple legislative competence to
create municipal corporations. Section 3, Article XI of the 1973 Constitution does not
Sec. 2. The boundaries of the new Municipality of Sibagat will be: Beginning at the point of proscribe nor prohibit the modification of territorial and political subdivisions before the
intersection of the Cabadbaran-Old Bayugan and Surigao del Sur boundaries; thence in a enactment of the Local Government Code. It contains no requirement that the Local
southernly direction following the Old Bayugan and Cabadbaran, Old Bayugan and Butuan Government Code is a condition sine qua non for the creation of a municipality, in much the
City, Old Bayugan and Las Nieves boundaries, until it reaches the point of intersection of Old same way that the creation of a new municipality does not preclude the enactment of a Local
Bayugan, Esperanza and the Municipality of Las Nieves; ... Government Code. What the Constitutional provision means is that once said Code is
enacted, the creation, modification or dissolution of local government units should conform
Sec. 3. The seat of government of the newly created municipality shall be in Barangay with the criteria thus laid down. In the interregnum before the enactment of such Code, the
Sibagat. legislative power remains plenary except that the creation of the new local government unit
should be approved by the people concerned in a plebiscite called for the purpose.
Sec. 4. Except as herein provided, all provisions of laws, now or hereafter applicable to
regular municipalities shall be applicable to the new Municipality of Sibagat. The creation of the new Municipality of Sibagat conformed to said requisite. A plebiscite was
conducted and the people of the unit/units affected endorsed and approved the creation of
Sec. 5. After ratification by the majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to be conducted in the new local government unit (parag. 5, Petition; p. 7, Memorandum).lwphl@it In fact, the
the area or areas affected within a period of ninety (90) days after the approval of this Act, conduct of said plebiscite is not questioned herein. The officials of the new Municipality have
the President (Prime Minister) shall appoint the Mayor and other Officials of the new effectively taken their oaths of office and are performing their functions. A dejure entity has
Municipality of Sibagat. thus been created.

Petitioners are residents and taxpayers of Butuan City, with petitioner, Clementino Torralba, It is a long-recognized principle that the power to create a municipal corporation is
being a member of the Sangguniang Panglunsod of the same City. Respondent municipal essentially legislative in nature. In the absence of any constitutional limitations a legislative
officers are the local public officials of the new Municipality. body may Create any corporation it deems essential for the more efficient administration of
government (I McQuillin, Municipal Corporations, 3rd ed., 509). The creation of the new
Municipality of Sibagat was a valid exercise of legislative power then vested by the 1973
Section 3, Article XI of the 1973 Constitution, said to have been infringed, is reproduced Constitution in the Interim Batasang Pambansa.
hereunder:
We are not unmindful of the case of Tan vs. COMELEC (142 SCRA 727 [1986]), striking down
as unconstitutional BP Blg. 885 creating a new province in the Island of Negros known as the
Province of Negros del Norte, and declaring the plebiscite held in connection therewith as
illegal There are significant differences, however, in the two cases among which may be
mentioned the following. in the Tan case, the Local Government Code already existed at the
time that the challenged statute was enacted on 3 December 1985; not so in the case at bar.
Secondly, BP Blg. 885 in the Tan case confined the plebiscite to the "proposed new province"
to the exclusion of the voters in the remaining areas, in contravention of the Constitutional
mandate and of the Local Government Code that the plebiscite should be held "in the unit or
units affected." In contrast, BP 56 specifically provides for a plebiscite "in the area or areas
affected." In fact, as previously stated, no question is raised herein as to the legality of the
plebiscite conducted. Thirdly, in the Tan case, even the requisite area for the creation of a
new province was not complied with in BP Blg. 885. No such issue in the creation of the new
municipality has been raised here. And lastly, "indecent haste" attended the enactment of BP
Blg. 885 and the holding of the plebiscite thereafter in the Tan case; on the other hand, BP 56
creating the Municipality of Sibagat, was enacted in the normal course of legislation, and the
plebiscite was held within the period specified in that law.

WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby dismissed. No costs.

SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 166715 August 14, 2008 The DOF, DBM, NEDA, BIR, BOC and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) were tasked to
promulgate and issue the implementing rules and regulations of RA 9335,8 to be approved by
ABAKADA GURO PARTY LIST (formerly AASJS)1 OFFICERS/MEMBERS SAMSON S. a Joint Congressional Oversight Committee created for such purpose.9
ALCANTARA, ED VINCENT S. ALBANO, ROMEO R. ROBISO, RENE B. GOROSPE and EDWIN R.
SANDOVAL, petitioners, Petitioners, invoking their right as taxpayers filed this petition challenging the
vs. constitutionality of RA 9335, a tax reform legislation. They contend that, by establishing a
HON. CESAR V. PURISIMA, in his capacity as Secretary of Finance, HON. GUILLERMO L. system of rewards and incentives, the law "transform[s] the officials and employees of the
PARAYNO, JR., in his capacity as Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and BIR and the BOC into mercenaries and bounty hunters" as they will do their best only in
HON. ALBERTO D. LINA, in his Capacity as Commissioner of Bureau of consideration of such rewards. Thus, the system of rewards and incentives invites corruption
Customs, respondents. and undermines the constitutionally mandated duty of these officials and employees to serve
the people with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency.
DECISION
Petitioners also claim that limiting the scope of the system of rewards and incentives only to
CORONA, J.: officials and employees of the BIR and the BOC violates the constitutional guarantee of equal
protection. There is no valid basis for classification or distinction as to why such a system
should not apply to officials and employees of all other government agencies.
This petition for prohibition1 seeks to prevent respondents from implementing and enforcing
Republic Act (RA) 93352 (Attrition Act of 2005).
In addition, petitioners assert that the law unduly delegates the power to fix revenue targets
to the President as it lacks a sufficient standard on that matter. While Section 7(b) and (c) of
RA 9335 was enacted to optimize the revenue-generation capability and collection of the
RA 9335 provides that BIR and BOC officials may be dismissed from the service if their
Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC). The law intends to
revenue collections fall short of the target by at least 7.5%, the law does not, however, fix
encourage BIR and BOC officials and employees to exceed their revenue targets by providing
the revenue targets to be achieved. Instead, the fixing of revenue targets has been delegated
a system of rewards and sanctions through the creation of a Rewards and Incentives Fund
to the President without sufficient standards. It will therefore be easy for the President to fix
(Fund) and a Revenue Performance Evaluation Board (Board).3 It covers all officials and
an unrealistic and unattainable target in order to dismiss BIR or BOC personnel.
employees of the BIR and the BOC with at least six months of service, regardless of
employment status.4
Finally, petitioners assail the creation of a congressional oversight committee on the ground
that it violates the doctrine of separation of powers. While the legislative function is deemed
The Fund is sourced from the collection of the BIR and the BOC in excess of their revenue
accomplished and completed upon the enactment and approval of the law, the creation of
targets for the year, as determined by the Development Budget and Coordinating Committee
the congressional oversight committee permits legislative participation in the
(DBCC). Any incentive or reward is taken from the fund and allocated to the BIR and the BOC
implementation and enforcement of the law.
in proportion to their contribution in the excess collection of the targeted amount of tax
revenue.5
In their comment, respondents, through the Office of the Solicitor General, question the
petition for being premature as there is no actual case or controversy yet. Petitioners have
The Boards in the BIR and the BOC are composed of the Secretary of the Department of
not asserted any right or claim that will necessitate the exercise of this Courts jurisdiction.
Finance (DOF) or his/her Undersecretary, the Secretary of the Department of Budget and
Nevertheless, respondents acknowledge that public policy requires the resolution of the
Management (DBM) or his/her Undersecretary, the Director General of the National
constitutional issues involved in this case. They assert that the allegation that the reward
Economic Development Authority (NEDA) or his/her Deputy Director General, the
system will breed mercenaries is mere speculation and does not suffice to invalidate the law.
Commissioners of the BIR and the BOC or their Deputy Commissioners, two representatives
Seen in conjunction with the declared objective of RA 9335, the law validly classifies the BIR
from the rank-and-file employees and a representative from the officials nominated by their
and the BOC because the functions they perform are distinct from those of the other
recognized organization.6
government agencies and instrumentalities. Moreover, the law provides a sufficient standard
that will guide the executive in the implementation of its provisions. Lastly, the creation of
Each Board has the duty to (1) prescribe the rules and guidelines for the allocation, the congressional oversight committee under the law enhances, rather than violates,
distribution and release of the Fund; (2) set criteria and procedures for removing from the separation of powers. It ensures the fulfillment of the legislative policy and serves as a check
service officials and employees whose revenue collection falls short of the target; (3) to any over-accumulation of power on the part of the executive and the implementing
terminate personnel in accordance with the criteria adopted by the Board; (4) prescribe a agencies.
system for performance evaluation; (5) perform other functions, including the issuance of
rules and regulations and (6) submit an annual report to Congress. 7
After a careful consideration of the conflicting contentions of the parties, the Court finds that to exceed their revenue targets and optimize their revenue-generation capability and
petitioners have failed to overcome the presumption of constitutionality in favor of RA 9335, collection.15
except as shall hereafter be discussed.
The presumption is disputable but proof to the contrary is required to rebut it. It cannot be
Actual Case And Ripeness overturned by mere conjecture or denied in advance (as petitioners would have the Court
do) specially in this case where it is an underlying principle to advance a declared public
An actual case or controversy involves a conflict of legal rights, an assertion of opposite legal policy.
claims susceptible of judicial adjudication.10 A closely related requirement is ripeness, that is,
the question must be ripe for adjudication. And a constitutional question is ripe for Petitioners claim that the implementation of RA 9335 will turn BIR and BOC officials and
adjudication when the governmental act being challenged has a direct adverse effect on the employees into "bounty hunters and mercenaries" is not only without any factual and legal
individual challenging it.11Thus, to be ripe for judicial adjudication, the petitioner must show basis; it is also purely speculative.
a personal stake in the outcome of the case or an injury to himself that can be redressed by a
favorable decision of the Court.12 A law enacted by Congress enjoys the strong presumption of constitutionality. To justify its
nullification, there must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution, not a
In this case, aside from the general claim that the dispute has ripened into a judicial doubtful and equivocal one.16 To invalidate RA 9335 based on petitioners baseless
controversy by the mere enactment of the law even without any further overt supposition is an affront to the wisdom not only of the legislature that passed it but also of
act,13 petitioners fail either to assert any specific and concrete legal claim or to demonstrate the executive which approved it.
any direct adverse effect of the law on them. They are unable to show a personal stake in the
outcome of this case or an injury to themselves. On this account, their petition is Public service is its own reward. Nevertheless, public officers may by law be rewarded for
procedurally infirm. exemplary and exceptional performance. A system of incentives for exceeding the set
expectations of a public office is not anathema to the concept of public accountability. In
This notwithstanding, public interest requires the resolution of the constitutional issues fact, it recognizes and reinforces dedication to duty, industry, efficiency and loyalty to public
raised by petitioners. The grave nature of their allegations tends to cast a cloud on the service of deserving government personnel.
presumption of constitutionality in favor of the law. And where an action of the legislative
branch is alleged to have infringed the Constitution, it becomes not only the right but in fact In United States v. Matthews,17 the U.S. Supreme Court validated a law which awards to
the duty of the judiciary to settle the dispute.14 officers of the customs as well as other parties an amount not exceeding one-half of the net
proceeds of forfeitures in violation of the laws against smuggling. Citing Dorsheimer v. United
Accountability of States,18 the U.S. Supreme Court said:
Public Officers
The offer of a portion of such penalties to the collectors is to stimulate and reward
Section 1, Article 11 of the Constitution states: their zeal and industry in detecting fraudulent attempts to evade payment of duties
and taxes.
Sec. 1. Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times
be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, In the same vein, employees of the BIR and the BOC may by law be entitled to a reward
loyalty, and efficiency, act with patriotism, and justice, and lead modest lives. when, as a consequence of their zeal in the enforcement of tax and customs laws, they
exceed their revenue targets. In addition, RA 9335 establishes safeguards to ensure that the
Public office is a public trust. It must be discharged by its holder not for his own personal gain reward will not be claimed if it will be either the fruit of "bounty hunting or mercenary
but for the benefit of the public for whom he holds it in trust. By demanding accountability activity" or the product of the irregular performance of official duties. One of these
and service with responsibility, integrity, loyalty, efficiency, patriotism and justice, all precautionary measures is embodied in Section 8 of the law:
government officials and employees have the duty to be responsive to the needs of the
people they are called upon to serve. SEC. 8. Liability of Officials, Examiners and Employees of the BIR and the BOC. The
officials, examiners, and employees of the [BIR] and the [BOC] who violate this Act
Public officers enjoy the presumption of regularity in the performance of their duties. This or who are guilty of negligence, abuses or acts of malfeasance or misfeasance or
presumption necessarily obtains in favor of BIR and BOC officials and employees. RA 9335 fail to exercise extraordinary diligence in the performance of their duties shall be
operates on the basis thereof and reinforces it by providing a system of rewards and held liable for any loss or injury suffered by any business establishment or taxpayer
sanctions for the purpose of encouraging the officials and employees of the BIR and the BOC
as a result of such violation, negligence, abuse, malfeasance, misfeasance or failure The equal protection clause recognizes a valid classification, that is, a classification that has a
to exercise extraordinary diligence. reasonable foundation or rational basis and not arbitrary.22 With respect to RA 9335, its
expressed public policy is the optimization of the revenue-generation capability and
Equal Protection collection of the BIR and the BOC.23 Since the subject of the law is the revenue- generation
capability and collection of the BIR and the BOC, the incentives and/or sanctions provided in
the law should logically pertain to the said agencies. Moreover, the law concerns only the BIR
Equality guaranteed under the equal protection clause is equality under the same conditions
and the BOC because they have the common distinct primary function of generating
and among persons similarly situated; it is equality among equals, not similarity of treatment
revenues for the national government through the collection of taxes, customs duties, fees
of persons who are classified based on substantial differences in relation to the object to be
and charges.
accomplished.19When things or persons are different in fact or circumstance, they may be
treated in law differently. In Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workers Union,20 this Court declared:
The BIR performs the following functions:
The guaranty of equal protection of the laws is not a guaranty of equality in the
application of the laws upon all citizens of the [S]tate. It is not, therefore, a Sec. 18. The Bureau of Internal Revenue. The Bureau of Internal Revenue, which
requirement, in order to avoid the constitutional prohibition against inequality, shall be headed by and subject to the supervision and control of the Commissioner
that every man, woman and child should be affected alike by a statute. Equality of of Internal Revenue, who shall be appointed by the President upon the
operation of statutes does not mean indiscriminate operation on persons merely as recommendation of the Secretary [of the DOF], shall have the following functions:
such, but on persons according to the circumstances surrounding them. It
guarantees equality, not identity of rights. The Constitution does not require that (1) Assess and collect all taxes, fees and charges and account for all revenues
things which are different in fact be treated in law as though they were the same. collected;
The equal protection clause does not forbid discrimination as to things that are
different. It does not prohibit legislation which is limited either in the object to (2) Exercise duly delegated police powers for the proper performance of its
which it is directed or by the territory within which it is to operate. functions and duties;

The equal protection of the laws clause of the Constitution allows classification. (3) Prevent and prosecute tax evasions and all other illegal economic activities;
Classification in law, as in the other departments of knowledge or practice, is the
grouping of things in speculation or practice because they agree with one another
(4) Exercise supervision and control over its constituent and subordinate units; and
in certain particulars. A law is not invalid because of simple inequality. The very
idea of classification is that of inequality, so that it goes without saying that the
mere fact of inequality in no manner determines the matter of constitutionality. All (5) Perform such other functions as may be provided by law.24
that is required of a valid classification is that it be reasonable, which means that
the classification should be based on substantial distinctions which make for real xxx xxx xxx (emphasis supplied)
differences, that it must be germane to the purpose of the law; that it must not
be limited to existing conditions only; and that it must apply equally to each On the other hand, the BOC has the following functions:
member of the class. This Court has held that the standard is satisfied if the
classification or distinction is based on a reasonable foundation or rational basis
and is not palpably arbitrary. Sec. 23. The Bureau of Customs. The Bureau of Customs which shall be headed
and subject to the management and control of the Commissioner of Customs, who
shall be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the Secretary[of
In the exercise of its power to make classifications for the purpose of enacting laws the DOF] and hereinafter referred to as Commissioner, shall have the following
over matters within its jurisdiction, the state is recognized as enjoying a wide range functions:
of discretion. It is not necessary that the classification be based on scientific or
marked differences of things or in their relation. Neither is it necessary that the
classification be made with mathematical nicety. Hence, legislative classification (1) Collect custom duties, taxes and the corresponding fees, charges and
may in many cases properly rest on narrow distinctions, for the equal protection penalties;
guaranty does not preclude the legislature from recognizing degrees of evil or
harm, and legislation is addressed to evils as they may appear.21 (emphasis (2) Account for all customs revenues collected;
supplied)
(3) Exercise police authority for the enforcement of tariff and customs laws;
(4) Prevent and suppress smuggling, pilferage and all other economic frauds within Section 4 "canalized within banks that keep it from overflowing"29 the delegated power to
all ports of entry; the President to fix revenue targets:

(5) Supervise and control exports, imports, foreign mails and the clearance of SEC. 4. Rewards and Incentives Fund. A Rewards and Incentives Fund, hereinafter
vessels and aircrafts in all ports of entry; referred to as the Fund, is hereby created, to be sourced from the collection of the
BIR and the BOC in excess of their respective revenue targets of the year, as
(6) Administer all legal requirements that are appropriate; determined by the Development Budget and Coordinating Committee (DBCC), in
the following percentages:
(7) Prevent and prosecute smuggling and other illegal activities in all ports under its
jurisdiction; Excess of Collection of the Excess the Percent (%) of the Excess Collection to Acc
Revenue Targets Fund
(8) Exercise supervision and control over its constituent units; 30% or below 15%
More than 30% 15% of the first 30% plus 20% of the rem
(9) Perform such other functions as may be provided by law.25
The Fund shall be deemed automatically appropriated the year immediately
following the year when the revenue collection target was exceeded and shall be
xxx xxx xxx (emphasis supplied)
released on the same fiscal year.

Both the BIR and the BOC are bureaus under the DOF. They principally perform the special
Revenue targets shall refer to the original estimated revenue collection expected
function of being the instrumentalities through which the State exercises one of its great
of the BIR and the BOC for a given fiscal year as stated in the Budget of
inherent functions taxation. Indubitably, such substantial distinction is germane and
Expenditures and Sources of Financing (BESF) submitted by the President to
intimately related to the purpose of the law. Hence, the classification and treatment
accorded to the BIR and the BOC under RA 9335 fully satisfy the demands of equal Congress. The BIR and the BOC shall submit to the DBCC the distribution of the
agencies revenue targets as allocated among its revenue districts in the case of the
protection.
BIR, and the collection districts in the case of the BOC.

Undue Delegation
xxx xxx xxx (emphasis supplied)

Two tests determine the validity of delegation of legislative power: (1) the completeness test
Revenue targets are based on the original estimated revenue collection expected
and (2) the sufficient standard test. A law is complete when it sets forth therein the policy to
respectively of the BIR and the BOC for a given fiscal year as approved by the DBCC and
be executed, carried out or implemented by the delegate.26 It lays down a sufficient standard
stated in the BESF submitted by the President to Congress.30 Thus, the determination of
when it provides adequate guidelines or limitations in the law to map out the boundaries of
revenue targets does not rest solely on the President as it also undergoes the scrutiny of the
the delegates authority and prevent the delegation from running riot.27 To be sufficient, the
DBCC.
standard must specify the limits of the delegates authority, announce the legislative policy
and identify the conditions under which it is to be implemented.28
On the other hand, Section 7 specifies the limits of the Boards authority and identifies the
conditions under which officials and employees whose revenue collection falls short of the
RA 9335 adequately states the policy and standards to guide the President in fixing revenue
targets and the implementing agencies in carrying out the provisions of the law. Section 2 target by at least 7.5% may be removed from the service:
spells out the policy of the law:
SEC. 7. Powers and Functions of the Board. The Board in the agency shall have the
following powers and functions:
SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. It is the policy of the State to optimize the revenue-
generation capability and collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and
the Bureau of Customs (BOC) by providing for a system of rewards and sanctions xxx xxx xxx
through the creation of a Rewards and Incentives Fund and a Revenue
Performance Evaluation Board in the above agencies for the purpose of (b) To set the criteria and procedures for removing from service officials and
encouraging their officials and employees to exceed their revenue targets. employees whose revenue collection falls short of the target by at least seven
and a half percent (7.5%), with due consideration of all relevant factors affecting
the level of collection as provided in the rules and regulations promulgated under Section 12 of RA 9335 provides:
this Act, subject to civil service laws, rules and regulations and compliance with
substantive and procedural due process: Provided, That the following exemptions SEC. 12. Joint Congressional Oversight Committee. There is hereby created a Joint
shall apply: Congressional Oversight Committee composed of seven Members from the Senate
and seven Members from the House of Representatives. The Members from the
1. Where the district or area of responsibility is newly-created, not Senate shall be appointed by the Senate President, with at least two senators
exceeding two years in operation, as has no historical record of collection representing the minority. The Members from the House of Representatives shall
performance that can be used as basis for evaluation; and be appointed by the Speaker with at least two members representing the minority.
After the Oversight Committee will have approved the implementing rules and
2. Where the revenue or customs official or employee is a recent regulations (IRR) it shall thereafter become functus officio and therefore cease to
transferee in the middle of the period under consideration unless the exist.
transfer was due to nonperformance of revenue targets or potential
nonperformance of revenue targets: Provided, however, That when the The Joint Congressional Oversight Committee in RA 9335 was created for the purpose of
district or area of responsibility covered by revenue or customs officials approving the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) formulated by the DOF, DBM, NEDA,
or employees has suffered from economic difficulties brought about by BIR, BOC and CSC. On May 22, 2006, it approved the said IRR. From then on, it
natural calamities or force majeure or economic causes as may be became functus officio and ceased to exist. Hence, the issue of its alleged encroachment on
determined by the Board, termination shall be considered only after the executive function of implementing and enforcing the law may be considered moot and
careful and proper review by the Board. academic.

(c) To terminate personnel in accordance with the criteria adopted in the preceding This notwithstanding, this might be as good a time as any for the Court to confront the issue
paragraph: Provided, That such decision shall be immediately executory: Provided, of the constitutionality of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee created under RA
further, That the application of the criteria for the separation of an official or 9335 (or other similar laws for that matter).
employee from service under this Act shall be without prejudice to the
application of other relevant laws on accountability of public officers and The scholarly discourse of Mr. Justice (now Chief Justice) Puno on the concept of
employees, such as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officers congressional oversight in Macalintal v. Commission on Elections34 is illuminating:
and Employees and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act;
Concept and bases of congressional oversight
xxx xxx xxx (emphasis supplied)
Broadly defined, the power of oversight embraces all activities undertaken by
Clearly, RA 9335 in no way violates the security of tenure of officials and employees of the Congress to enhance its understanding of and influence over
BIR and the BOC. The guarantee of security of tenure only means that an employee cannot the implementation of legislation it has enacted. Clearly, oversight concerns post-
be dismissed from the service for causes other than those provided by law and only after due enactment measures undertaken by Congress: (a) to monitor bureaucratic
process is accorded the employee.31 In the case of RA 9335, it lays down a reasonable compliance with program objectives, (b) to determine whether agencies are
yardstick for removal (when the revenue collection falls short of the target by at least 7.5%) properly administered, (c) to eliminate executive waste and dishonesty, (d) to
with due consideration of all relevant factors affecting the level of collection. This standard is prevent executive usurpation of legislative authority, and (d) to assess executive
analogous to inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of official duties, a ground conformity with the congressional perception of public interest.
for disciplinary action under civil service laws.32 The action for removal is also subject to civil
service laws, rules and regulations and compliance with substantive and procedural due
The power of oversight has been held to be intrinsic in the grant of legislative
process.
power itself and integral to the checks and balances inherent in a democratic
system of government. x x x x x x x x x
At any rate, this Court has recognized the following as sufficient standards: "public interest,"
"justice and equity," "public convenience and welfare" and "simplicity, economy and
Over the years, Congress has invoked its oversight power with increased frequency
welfare."33 In this case, the declared policy of optimization of the revenue-generation
to check the perceived "exponential accumulation of power" by the executive
capability and collection of the BIR and the BOC is infused with public interest.
branch. By the beginning of the 20th century, Congress has delegated an enormous
amount of legislative authority to the executive branch and the administrative
Separation Of Powers agencies. Congress, thus, uses its oversight power to make sure that the
administrative agencies perform their functions within the authority delegated to does not affirmatively disapprove of the regulation in the meantime. Less
them. x x x x x x x x x frequently, the statute provides that a proposed regulation will become law if
Congress affirmatively approves it.
Categories of congressional oversight functions
Supporters of legislative veto stress that it is necessary to maintain the balance of
The acts done by Congress purportedly in the exercise of its oversight powers may power between the legislative and the executive branches of government as it
be divided into three categories, namely: scrutiny, investigation and supervision. offers lawmakers a way to delegate vast power to the executive branch or to
independent agencies while retaining the option to cancel particular exercise of
such power without having to pass new legislation or to repeal existing law. They
a. Scrutiny
contend that this arrangement promotes democratic accountability as it provides
legislative check on the activities of unelected administrative agencies. One
Congressional scrutiny implies a lesser intensity and continuity of proponent thus explains:
attention to administrative operations. Its primary purpose is to
determine economy and efficiency of the operation of government
It is too late to debate the merits of this delegation policy: the policy is
activities. In the exercise of legislative scrutiny, Congress may request
too deeply embedded in our law and practice. It suffices to say that the
information and report from the other branches of government. It can
complexities of modern government have often led Congress-whether by
give recommendations or pass resolutions for consideration of the
actual or perceived necessity- to legislate by declaring broad policy goals
agency involved.
and general statutory standards, leaving the choice of policy options to
the discretion of an executive officer. Congress articulates legislative
xxx xxx xxx aims, but leaves their implementation to the judgment of parties who
may or may not have participated in or agreed with the development of
b. Congressional investigation those aims. Consequently, absent safeguards, in many instances the
reverse of our constitutional scheme could be effected: Congress
While congressional scrutiny is regarded as a passive process of looking at proposes, the Executive disposes. One safeguard, of course, is the
the facts that are readily available, congressional investigation involves a legislative power to enact new legislation or to change existing law. But
more intense digging of facts. The power of Congress to conduct without some means of overseeing post enactment activities of the
investigation is recognized by the 1987 Constitution under section 21, executive branch, Congress would be unable to determine whether its
Article VI, xxx xxx xxx policies have been implemented in accordance with legislative intent and
thus whether legislative intervention is appropriate.

c. Legislative supervision
Its opponents, however, criticize the legislative veto as undue encroachment upon
the executive prerogatives. They urge that any post-enactment measures
The third and most encompassing form by which Congress exercises its oversight undertaken by the legislative branch should be limited to scrutiny and
power is thru legislative supervision. "Supervision" connotes a continuing and investigation; any measure beyond that would undermine the separation of
informed awareness on the part of a congressional committee regarding executive powers guaranteed by the Constitution. They contend that legislative veto
operations in a given administrative area. While both congressional scrutiny and constitutes an impermissible evasion of the Presidents veto authority and
investigation involve inquiry into past executive branch actions in order to influence intrusion into the powers vested in the executive or judicial branches of
future executive branch performance, congressional supervision allows Congress to government. Proponents counter that legislative veto enhances separation of
scrutinize the exercise of delegated law-making authority, and permits Congress to powers as it prevents the executive branch and independent agencies from
retain part of that delegated authority. accumulating too much power. They submit that reporting requirements and
congressional committee investigations allow Congress to scrutinize only the
Congress exercises supervision over the executive agencies through its veto power. exercise of delegated law-making authority. They do not allow Congress to review
It typically utilizes veto provisions when granting the President or an executive executive proposals before they take effect and they do not afford the opportunity
agency the power to promulgate regulations with the force of law. These provisions for ongoing and binding expressions of congressional intent. In contrast, legislative
require the President or an agency to present the proposed regulations to Congress, veto permits Congress to participate prospectively in the approval or disapproval of
which retains a "right" to approve or disapprove any regulation before it takes "subordinate law" or those enacted by the executive branch pursuant to a
effect. Such legislative veto provisions usually provide that a proposed regulation delegation of authority by Congress. They further argue that legislative veto "is a
will become a law after the expiration of a certain period of time, only if Congress necessary response by Congress to the accretion of policy control by forces outside
its chambers." In an era of delegated authority, they point out that legislative veto even enhance the separation of powers as it prevents the over-accumulation of power in the
"is the most efficient means Congress has yet devised to retain control over the executive branch.
evolution and implementation of its policy as declared by statute."
However, to forestall the danger of congressional encroachment "beyond the legislative
In Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha, the U.S. Supreme Court sphere," the Constitution imposes two basic and related constraints on Congress.37 It may
resolved the validity of legislative veto provisions. The case arose from the order not vest itself, any of its committees or its members with either executive or judicial
of the immigration judge suspending the deportation of Chadha pursuant to power.38 And, when it exercises its legislative power, it must follow the "single, finely
244(c)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The United States House of wrought and exhaustively considered, procedures" specified under the
Representatives passed a resolution vetoing the suspension pursuant to 244(c)(2) Constitution,39 including the procedure for enactment of laws and presentment.
authorizing either House of Congress, by resolution, to invalidate the decision of
the executive branch to allow a particular deportable alien to remain in the United Thus, any post-enactment congressional measure such as this should be limited to scrutiny
States. The immigration judge reopened the deportation proceedings to implement and investigation. In particular, congressional oversight must be confined to the following:
the House order and the alien was ordered deported. The Board of Immigration
Appeals dismissed the aliens appeal, holding that it had no power to declare
(1) scrutiny based primarily on Congress power of appropriation and the budget
unconstitutional an act of Congress. The United States Court of Appeals for Ninth
hearings conducted in connection with it, its power to ask heads of departments to
Circuit held that the House was without constitutional authority to order the aliens
appear before and be heard by either of its Houses on any matter pertaining to
deportation and that 244(c)(2) violated the constitutional doctrine on separation
their departments and its power of confirmation40 and
of powers.

(2) investigation and monitoring41 of the implementation of laws pursuant to the


On appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court declared 244(c)(2) unconstitutional. But the
power of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation. 42
Court shied away from the issue of separation of powers and instead held that the
provision violates the presentment clause and bicameralism. It held that the one-
house veto was essentially legislative in purpose and effect. As such, it is subject to Any action or step beyond that will undermine the separation of powers guaranteed by the
the procedures set out in Article I of the Constitution requiring the passage by a Constitution. Legislative vetoes fall in this class.
majority of both Houses and presentment to the President. x x x x x x x x x
Legislative veto is a statutory provision requiring the President or an administrative agency to
Two weeks after the Chadha decision, the Court upheld, in memorandum decision, present the proposed implementing rules and regulations of a law to Congress which, by
two lower court decisions invalidating the legislative veto provisions in the Natural itself or through a committee formed by it, retains a "right" or "power" to approve or
Gas Policy Act of 1978 and the Federal Trade Commission Improvement Act of disapprove such regulations before they take effect. As such, a legislative veto in the form of
1980. Following this precedence, lower courts invalidated statutes containing a congressional oversight committee is in the form of an inward-turning delegation designed
legislative veto provisions although some of these provisions required the approval to attach a congressional leash (other than through scrutiny and investigation) to an agency
of both Houses of Congress and thus met the bicameralism requirement of Article I. to which Congress has by law initially delegated broad powers.43 It radically changes the
Indeed, some of these veto provisions were not even exercised. 35(emphasis design or structure of the Constitutions diagram of power as it entrusts to Congress a direct
supplied) role in enforcing, applying or implementing its own laws.44

In Macalintal, given the concept and configuration of the power of congressional oversight Congress has two options when enacting legislation to define national policy within the
and considering the nature and powers of a constitutional body like the Commission on broad horizons of its legislative competence.45 It can itself formulate the details or it can
Elections, the Court struck down the provision in RA 9189 (The Overseas Absentee Voting Act assign to the executive branch the responsibility for making necessary managerial decisions
of 2003) creating a Joint Congressional Committee. The committee was tasked not only to in conformity with those standards.46 In the latter case, the law must be complete in all its
monitor and evaluate the implementation of the said law but also to review, revise, amend essential terms and conditions when it leaves the hands of the legislature.47 Thus, what is left
and approve the IRR promulgated by the Commission on Elections. The Court held that these for the executive branch or the concerned administrative agency when it formulates rules
functions infringed on the constitutional independence of the Commission on Elections. 36 and regulations implementing the law is to fill up details (supplementary rule-making) or
ascertain facts necessary to bring the law into actual operation (contingent rule-making).48
With this backdrop, it is clear that congressional oversight is not unconstitutional per se,
meaning, it neither necessarily constitutes an encroachment on the executive power to Administrative regulations enacted by administrative agencies to implement and interpret
implement laws nor undermines the constitutional separation of powers. Rather, it is integral the law which they are entrusted to enforce have the force of law and are entitled to
to the checks and balances inherent in a democratic system of government. It may in fact respect.49 Such rules and regulations partake of the nature of a statute50 and are just as
binding as if they have been written in the statute itself. As such, they have the force and Every bill passed by Congress must be presented to the President for approval or veto. In the
effect of law and enjoy the presumption of constitutionality and legality until they are set absence of presentment to the President, no bill passed by Congress can become a law. In
aside with finality in an appropriate case by a competent court.51 Congress, in the guise of this sense, law-making under the Constitution is a joint act of the Legislature and of the
assuming the role of an overseer, may not pass upon their legality by subjecting them to its Executive. Assuming that legislative veto is a valid legislative act with the force of law, it
stamp of approval without disturbing the calculated balance of powers established by the cannot take effect without such presentment even if approved by both chambers of
Constitution. In exercising discretion to approve or disapprove the IRR based on a Congress.
determination of whether or not they conformed with the provisions of RA 9335, Congress
arrogated judicial power unto itself, a power exclusively vested in this Court by the In sum, two steps are required before a bill becomes a law. First, it must be approved by both
Constitution. Houses of Congress.54 Second, it must be presented to and approved by the President.55 As
summarized by Justice Isagani Cruz56 and Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J.57, the following is the
Considered Opinion of procedure for the approval of bills:
Mr. Justice Dante O. Tinga
A bill is introduced by any member of the House of Representatives or the Senate
Moreover, the requirement that the implementing rules of a law be subjected to approval by except for some measures that must originate only in the former chamber.
Congress as a condition for their effectivity violates the cardinal constitutional principles of
bicameralism and the rule on presentment.52 The first reading involves only a reading of the number and title of the measure
and its referral by the Senate President or the Speaker to the proper committee for
Section 1, Article VI of the Constitution states: study.

Section 1. The legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines The bill may be "killed" in the committee or it may be recommended for approval,
which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives, except to the with or without amendments, sometimes after public hearings are first held
extent reserved to the people by the provision on initiative and referendum. thereon. If there are other bills of the same nature or purpose, they may all be
(emphasis supplied) consolidated into one bill under common authorship or as a committee bill.

Legislative power (or the power to propose, enact, amend and repeal laws)53 is vested in Once reported out, the bill shall be calendared for second reading. It is at this stage
Congress which consists of two chambers, the Senate and the House of Representatives. A that the bill is read in its entirety, scrutinized, debated upon and amended when
valid exercise of legislative power requires the act of both chambers. Corrollarily, it can be desired. The second reading is the most important stage in the passage of a bill.
exercised neither solely by one of the two chambers nor by a committee of either or both
chambers. Thus, assuming the validity of a legislative veto, both a single-chamber legislative The bill as approved on second reading is printed in its final form and copies
veto and a congressional committee legislative veto are invalid. thereof are distributed at least three days before the third reading. On the third
reading, the members merely register their votes and explain them if they are
Additionally, Section 27(1), Article VI of the Constitution provides: allowed by the rules. No further debate is allowed.

Section 27. (1) Every bill passed by the Congress shall, before it becomes a law, be Once the bill passes third reading, it is sent to the other chamber, where it will also
presented to the President. If he approves the same, he shall sign it, otherwise, he undergo the three readings. If there are differences between the versions
shall veto it and return the same with his objections to the House where it approved by the two chambers, a conference committee58 representing both
originated, which shall enter the objections at large in its Journal and proceed to Houses will draft a compromise measure that if ratified by the Senate and the
reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of all the Members of such House of Representatives will then be submitted to the President for his
House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to consideration.
the other House by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-
thirds of all the Members of that House, it shall become a law. In all such cases, the The bill is enrolled when printed as finally approved by the Congress, thereafter
votes of each House shall be determined by yeas or nays, and the names of the authenticated with the signatures of the Senate President, the Speaker, and the
members voting for or against shall be entered in its Journal. The President shall Secretaries of their respective chambers59
communicate his veto of any bill to the House where it originated within thirty days
after the date of receipt thereof; otherwise, it shall become a law as if he had
The Presidents role in law-making.
signed it. (emphasis supplied)
The final step is submission to the President for approval. Once approved, it takes legislature would have enacted it by itself if it had supposed that it could not
effect as law after the required publication.60 constitutionally enact the other. Enough must remain to make a complete,
intelligible and valid statute, which carries out the legislative intent. x x x
Where Congress delegates the formulation of rules to implement the law it has enacted
pursuant to sufficient standards established in the said law, the law must be complete in all The exception to the general rule is that when the parts of a statute are so mutually
its essential terms and conditions when it leaves the hands of the legislature. And it may be dependent and connected, as conditions, considerations, inducements, or
deemed to have left the hands of the legislature when it becomes effective because it is only compensations for each other, as to warrant a belief that the legislature intended
upon effectivity of the statute that legal rights and obligations become available to those them as a whole, the nullity of one part will vitiate the rest. In making the parts of
entitled by the language of the statute. Subject to the indispensable requisite of publication the statute dependent, conditional, or connected with one another, the legislature
under the due process clause,61 the determination as to when a law takes effect is wholly the intended the statute to be carried out as a whole and would not have enacted it if
prerogative of Congress.62 As such, it is only upon its effectivity that a law may be executed one part is void, in which case if some parts are unconstitutional, all the other
and the executive branch acquires the duties and powers to execute the said law. Before that provisions thus dependent, conditional, or connected must fall with them.
point, the role of the executive branch, particularly of the President, is limited to approving
or vetoing the law.63 The separability clause of RA 9335 reveals the intention of the legislature to isolate and
detach any invalid provision from the other provisions so that the latter may continue in
From the moment the law becomes effective, any provision of law that empowers Congress force and effect. The valid portions can stand independently of the invalid section. Without
or any of its members to play any role in the implementation or enforcement of the law Section 12, the remaining provisions still constitute a complete, intelligible and valid law
violates the principle of separation of powers and is thus unconstitutional. Under this which carries out the legislative intent to optimize the revenue-generation capability and
principle, a provision that requires Congress or its members to approve the implementing collection of the BIR and the BOC by providing for a system of rewards and sanctions through
rules of a law after it has already taken effect shall be unconstitutional, as is a provision that the Rewards and Incentives Fund and a Revenue Performance Evaluation Board.
allows Congress or its members to overturn any directive or ruling made by the members of
the executive branch charged with the implementation of the law. To be effective, administrative rules and regulations must be published in full if their purpose
is to enforce or implement existing law pursuant to a valid delegation. The IRR of RA 9335
Following this rationale, Section 12 of RA 9335 should be struck down as unconstitutional. were published on May 30, 2006 in two newspapers of general circulation66 and became
While there may be similar provisions of other laws that may be invalidated for failure to effective 15 days thereafter.67 Until and unless the contrary is shown, the IRR are presumed
pass this standard, the Court refrains from invalidating them wholesale but will do so at the valid and effective even without the approval of the Joint Congressional Oversight
proper time when an appropriate case assailing those provisions is brought before us.64 Committee.

The next question to be resolved is: what is the effect of the unconstitutionality of Section 12 WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby PARTIALLY GRANTED. Section 12 of RA 9335 creating a
of RA 9335 on the other provisions of the law? Will it render the entire law unconstitutional? Joint Congressional Oversight Committee to approve the implementing rules and regulations
No. of the law is declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL and therefore NULL and VOID. The
constitutionality of the remaining provisions of RA 9335 is UPHELD. Pursuant to Section 13 of
Section 13 of RA 9335 provides: RA 9335, the rest of the provisions remain in force and effect.

SEC. 13. Separability Clause. If any provision of this Act is declared invalid by a SO ORDERED.
competent court, the remainder of this Act or any provision not affected by such
declaration of invalidity shall remain in force and effect.

In Tatad v. Secretary of the Department of Energy,65 the Court laid down the following rules:

The general rule is that where part of a statute is void as repugnant to the
Constitution, while another part is valid, the valid portion, if separable from the
invalid, may stand and be enforced. The presence of a separability clause in a
statute creates the presumption that the legislature intended separability, rather
than complete nullity of the statute. To justify this result, the valid portion must be
so far independent of the invalid portion that it is fair to presume that the
G.R. No. 168056 October 18, 2005 I. This Honorable Court erred in upholding the constitutionality of Section 110(A)(2) and
Section 110(B) of the NIRC, as amended by the EVAT Law, imposing limitations on the
Agenda for Item No. 45 amount of input VAT that may be claimed as a credit against output VAT, as well as Section
114(C) of the NIRC, as amended by the EVAT Law, requiring the government or any of its
instrumentalities to withhold a 5% final withholding VAT on their gross payments on
G.R. No. 168056 (ABAKADA Guro Party List Officer Samson S. Alcantara, et al. vs. The Hon.
purchases of goods and services, and finding that the questioned provisions:
Executive Secretary Eduardo R. Ermita); G.R. No. 168207 (Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr., et
al. vs. Executive Secretary Eduardo R. Ermita, et al.); G.R. No. 168461 (Association of
Pilipinas Shell Dealers, Inc., et al. vs. Cesar V. Purisima, et al.); G.R. No. 168463 (Francis A. are not arbitrary, oppressive and consfiscatory as to amount to a deprivation of property
Joseph G. Escudero vs. Cesar V. Purisima, et al); and G.R. No. 168730 (Bataan Governor without due process of law in violation of Article III, Section 1 of the 1987 Philippine
Enrique T. Garcia, Jr. vs. Hon. Eduardo R. Ermita, et al.) Constitution;

RESOLUTION B. do not violate the equal protection clause prescribed under Article III, Section 1 of the
1987 Philippine Constitution; and
For resolution are the following motions for reconsideration of the Courts Decision dated
September 1, 2005 upholding the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 9337 or the VAT C. apply uniformly to all those belonging to the same class and do not violate Article VI,
Reform Act1: Section 28(1) of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

1) Motion for Reconsideration filed by petitioners in G.R. No. 168463, Escudero, et al., on the II. This Honorable Court erred in upholding the constitutionality of Section 110(B) of the
following grounds: NIRC, as amended by the EVAT Law, imposing a limitation on the amount of input VAT that
may be claimed as a credit against output VAT notwithstanding the finding that the tax is not
progressive as exhorted by Article VI, Section 28(1) of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.
A. THE DELETION OF THE "NO PASS ON PROVISIONS" FOR THE SALE OF PETROLEUM
PRODUCTS AND POWER GENERATION SERVICES CONSTITUTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION
AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION ON THE PART OF THE BICAMERAL Respondents filed their Consolidated Comment. Petitioner Garcia filed his Reply.
CONFERENCE COMMITTEE.
Petitioners Escudero, et al., insist that the bicameral conference committee should not even
B. REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9337 GROSSLY VIOLATES THE CONSTITUTIONAL IMPERATIVE ON have acted on the no pass-on provisions since there is no disagreement between House Bill
EXCLUSIVE ORIGINATION OF REVENUE BILLS UNDER 24, ARTICLE VI, 1987 PHILIPPINE Nos. 3705 and 3555 on the one hand, and Senate Bill No. 1950 on the other, with regard to
CONSTITUTION. the no pass-on provision for the sale of service for power generation because both the
Senate and the House were in agreement that the VAT burden for the sale of such service
shall not be passed on to the end-consumer. As to the no pass-on provision for sale of
C. REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9337S STAND-BY AUTHORITY TO THE EXECUTIVE TO INCREASE THE
petroleum products, petitioners argue that the fact that the presence of such a no pass-
VAT RATE, ESPECIALLY ON ACCOUNT OF THE EFFECTIVE RECOMMENDATORY POWER
on provision in the House version and the absence thereof in the Senate Bill means there is
GRANTED TO THE SECRETARY OF FINANCE, CONSTITUTES UNDUE DELEGATION OF
no conflict because "a House provision cannot be in conflict with something that does not
LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY.
exist."

2) Motion for Reconsideration of petitioner in G.R. No. 168730, Bataan Governor Enrique T.
Such argument is flawed. Note that the rules of both houses of Congress provide that a
Garcia, Jr., with the argument that burdening the consumers with significantly higher prices
conference committee shall settle the "differences" in the respective bills of each house.
under a VAT regime vis--vis a 3% gross tax renders the law unconstitutional for being
Verily, the fact that a no pass-on provision is present in one version but absent in the other,
arbitrary, oppressive and inequitable.
and one version intends two industries, i.e., power generation companies and petroleum
sellers, to bear the burden of the tax, while the other version intended only the industry of
and power generation, transmission and distribution to be saddled with such burden, clearly
shows that there are indeed differences between the bills coming from each house, which
3) Motion for Reconsideration by petitioners Association of Pilipinas Shell Dealers, Inc. in G.R. differences should be acted upon by the bicameral conference committee. It is incorrect to
No. 168461, on the grounds that: conclude that there is no clash between two opposing forces with regard to the no pass-
on provision for VAT on the sale of petroleum products merely because such provision exists
in the House version while it is absent in the Senate version. It is precisely the absence of
such provision in the Senate bill and the presence thereof in the House bills that causes the
conflict. The absence of the provision in the Senate bill shows the Senates disagreement to insist that a revenue statute and not only the bill which initiated the legislative process
the intention of the House of Representatives make the sellers of petroleum bear the burden culminating in the enactment of the law must substantially be the same as the House bill
of the VAT. Thus, there are indeed two opposing forces: on one side, the House of would be to deny the Senate's power not only to "concur with amendments" but also to "
Representatives which wants petroleum dealers to be saddled with the burden of paying VAT propose amendments." It would be to violate the coequality of legislative power of the two
and on the other, the Senate which does not see it proper to make that particular industry houses of Congress and in fact make the House superior to the Senate.
bear said burden. Clearly, such conflicts and differences between the no pass-on provisions in
the Senate and House bills had to be acted upon by the bicameral conference committee as Given, then, the power of the Senate to propose amendments, the Senate can propose its
mandated by the rules of both houses of Congress. own version even with respect to bills which are required by the Constitution to originate in
the House.
Moreover, the deletion of the no pass-on provision made the present VAT law more in
consonance with the very nature of VAT which, as stated in the Decision promulgated on ...
September 1, 2005, is a tax on spending or consumption, thus, the burden thereof is
ultimately borne by the end-consumer.
Indeed, what the Constitution simply means is that the initiative for filing revenue, tariff, or
tax bills, bills authorizing an increase of the public debt, private bills and bills of local
Escudero, et al., then claim that there had been changes introduced in the Rules of the House application must come from the House of Representatives on the theory that, elected as they
of Representatives regarding the conduct of the House panel in a bicameral conference are from the districts, the members of the House can be expected to be more sensitive to the
committee, since the time of Tolentino vs. Secretary of Finance2 to act as safeguards against local needs and problems. On the other hand, the senators, who are elected at large, are
possible abuse of authority by the House members of the bicameral conference committee. expected to approach the same problems from the national perspective. Both views are
Even assuming that the rule requiring the House panel to report back to the House if there thereby made to bear on the enactment of such laws.4
are substantial differences in the House and Senate bills had indeed been introduced
after Tolentino, the Court stands by its ruling that the issue of whether or not the House
Clearly, after the House bills as approved on third reading are duly transmitted to the Senate,
panel in the bicameral conference committee complied with said internal rule cannot be
the Constitution states that the latter can propose or concur with amendments. The Court
inquired into by the Court. To reiterate, "mere failure to conform to parliamentary usage will
finds that the subject provisions found in the Senate bill are within the purview of such
not invalidate the action (taken by a deliberative body) when the requisite number of
constitutional provision as declared in the Tolentino case.
members have agreed to a particular measure."3

The intent of the House of Representatives in initiating House Bill Nos. 3555 and 3705 was to
Escudero, et. al., also contend that Republic Act No. 9337 grossly violates the constitutional
solve the countrys serious financial problems. It was stated in the respective explanatory
imperative on exclusive origination of revenue bills under Section 24 of Article VI of the
notes that there is a need for the government to make significant expenditure savings and a
Constitution when the Senate introduced amendments not connected with VAT.
credible package of revenue measures. These measures include improvement of tax
administration and control and leakages in revenues from income taxes and value added tax.
The Court is not persuaded. It is also stated that one opportunity that could be beneficial to the overall status of our
economy is to review existing tax rates, evaluating the relevance given our present
Article VI, Section 24 of the Constitution provides: conditions. Thus, with these purposes in mind and to accomplish these purposes for which
the house bills were filed, i.e., to raise revenues for the government, the Senate introduced
Sec. 24 All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing increase of the public debt, amendments on income taxes, which as admitted by Senator Ralph Recto, would yield
bills of local application, and private bills shall originate exclusively in the House of about P10.5 billion a year.
Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments.
Moreover, since the objective of these house bills is to raise revenues, the increase in
Section 24 speaks of origination of certain bills from the House of Representatives which has corporate income taxes would be a great help and would also soften the impact of VAT
been interpreted in the Tolentino case as follows: measure on the consumers by distributing the burden across all sectors instead of putting it
entirely on the shoulders of the consumers.
To begin with, it is not the law but the revenue bill which is required by the
Constitution to "originate exclusively" in the House of Representatives. It is important to As to the other National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) provisions found in Senate Bill No.
emphasize this, because a bill originating in the House may undergo such extensive changes 1950, i.e., percentage taxes, franchise taxes, amusement and excise taxes, these provisions
in the Senate that the result may be a rewriting of the whole At this point, what is are needed so as to cushion the effects of VAT on consumers. As we said in our decision,
important to note is that, as a result of the Senate action, a distinct bill may be produced. To certain goods and services which were subject to percentage tax and excise tax would no
longer be VAT exempt, thus, the consumer would be burdened more as they would be
paying the VAT in addition to these taxes. Thus, there is a need to amend these sections to Finally, petitioners Association of Pilipinas Shell Dealers, Inc. reiterated their arguments in
soften the impact of VAT. The Court finds no reason to reverse the earlier ruling that the the petition, citing this time, the dissertation of Associate Justice Dante O. Tinga in his
Senate introduced amendments that are germane to the subject matter and purposes of the Dissenting Opinion.
house bills.
The glitch in petitioners arguments is that it presents figures based on an event that is yet to
Petitioners Escudero, et al., also reiterate that R.A. No. 9337s stand- by authority to the happen. Their illustration of the possible effects of the 70% limitation, while seemingly
Executive to increase the VAT rate, especially on account of the recommendatory power concrete, still remains theoretical. Theories have no place in this case as the Court must only
granted to the Secretary of Finance, constitutes undue delegation of legislative power. They deal with an existing case or controversy that is appropriate or ripe for judicial
submit that the recommendatory power given to the Secretary of Finance in regard to the determination, not one that is conjectural or merely anticipatory.5 The Court will not
occurrence of either of two events using the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a benchmark intervene absent an actual and substantial controversy admitting of specific relief through a
necessarily and inherently required extended analysis and evaluation, as well as policy decree conclusive in nature, as distinguished from an opinion advising what the law would be
making. upon a hypothetical state of facts.6

There is no merit in this contention. The Court reiterates that in making his recommendation The impact of the 70% limitation on the creditable input tax will ultimately depend on how
to the President on the existence of either of the two conditions, the Secretary of Finance is one manages and operates its business. Market forces, strategy and acumen will dictate their
not acting as the alter ego of the President or even her subordinate. He is acting as the agent moves. With or without these VAT provisions, an entrepreneur who does not have the ken to
of the legislative department, to determine and declare the event upon which its expressed adapt to economic variables will surely perish in the competition. The arguments posed are
will is to take effect. The Secretary of Finance becomes the means or tool by which legislative within the realm of business, and the solution lies also in business.
policy is determined and implemented, considering that he possesses all the facilities to
gather data and information and has a much broader perspective to properly evaluate them. Petitioners also reiterate their argument that the input tax is a property or a property right.
His function is to gather and collate statistical data and other pertinent information and In the same breath, the Court reiterates its finding that it is not a property or a property
verify if any of the two conditions laid out by Congress is present. Congress granted the right, and a VAT-registered persons entitlement to the creditable input tax is a mere
Secretary of Finance the authority to ascertain the existence of a fact, namely, whether by statutory privilege.
December 31, 2005, the value-added tax collection as a percentage of GDP of the previous
year exceeds two and four-fifth percent (24/5%) or the national government deficit as a
Petitioners also contend that even if the right to credit the input VAT is merely a statutory
percentage of GDP of the previous year exceeds one and one-half percent (1%). If either of
privilege, it has already evolved into a vested right that the State cannot remove.
these two instances has occurred, the Secretary of Finance, by legislative mandate, must
submit such information to the President. Then the 12% VAT rate must be imposed by the
President effective January 1, 2006. Congress does not abdicate its functions or unduly As the Court stated in its Decision, the right to credit the input tax is a mere creation of law.
delegate power when it describes what job must be done, who must do it, and what is the Prior to the enactment of multi-stage sales taxation, the sales taxes paid at every level of
scope of his authority; in our complex economy that is frequently the only way in which the distribution are not recoverable from the taxes payable. With the advent of Executive Order
legislative process can go forward.There is no undue delegation of legislative power but only No. 273 imposing a 10% multi-stage tax on all sales, it was only then that the crediting of the
of the discretion as to the execution of a law. This is constitutionally permissible. Congress input tax paid on purchase or importation of goods and services by VAT-registered persons
did not delegate the power to tax but the mere implementation of the law. The intent and against the output tax was established. This continued with the Expanded VAT Law (R.A. No.
will to increase the VAT rate to 12% came from Congress and the task of the President is to 7716), and The Tax Reform Act of 1997 (R.A. No. 8424). The right to credit input tax as
simply execute the legislative policy. That Congress chose to use the GDP as a benchmark to against the output tax is clearly a privilege created by law, a privilege that also the law can
determine economic growth is not within the province of the Court to inquire into, its task limit. It should be stressed that a person has no vested right in statutory privileges. 7
being to interpret the law.
The concept of "vested right" is a consequence of the constitutional guaranty of due process
With regard to petitioner Garcias arguments, the Court also finds the same to be without that expresses a present fixed interest which in right reason and natural justice is protected
merit. As stated in the assailed Decision, the Court recognizes the burden that the consumers against arbitrary state action; it includes not only legal or equitable title to the enforcement
will be bearing with the passage of R.A. No. 9337. But as was also stated by the Court, it of a demand but also exemptions from new obligations created after the right has become
cannot strike down the law as unconstitutional simply because of its yokes. The legislature vested. Rights are considered vested when the right to enjoyment is a present interest,
has spoken and the only role that the Court plays in the picture is to determine whether the absolute, unconditional, and perfect or fixed and irrefutable.8 As adeptly stated by Associate
law was passed with due regard to the mandates of the Constitution. Inasmuch as the Court Justice Minita V. Chico-Nazario in her Concurring Opinion, which the Court adopts,
finds that there are no constitutional infirmities with its passage, the validity of the law must petitioners right to the input VAT credits has not yet vested, thus
therefore be upheld.
It should be remembered that prior to Rep. Act No. 9337, the petroleum dealers input VAT
credits were inexistent they were unrecognized and disallowed by law. The petroleum
dealers had no such property called input VAT credits. It is only rational, therefore, that they
cannot acquire vested rights to the use of such input VAT credits when they were never
entitled to such credits in the first place, at least, not until Rep. Act No. 9337.

My view, at this point, when Rep. Act No. 9337 has not yet even been implemented, is that
petroleum dealers right to use their input VAT as credit against their output VAT unlimitedly
has not vested, being a mere expectancy of a future benefit and being contingent on the
continuance of Section 110 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, prior to its
amendment by Rep. Act No. 9337.

The elucidation of Associate Justice Artemio V. Panganiban is likewise worthy of note, to wit:

Moreover, there is no vested right in generally accepted accounting principles. These refer to
accounting concepts, measurement techniques, and standards of presentation in a
companys financial statements, and are not rooted in laws of nature, as are the laws of
physical science, for these are merely developed and continually modified by local and
international regulatory accounting bodies. To state otherwise and recognize such asset
account as a vested right is to limit the taxing power of the State. Unlimited, plenary,
comprehensive and supreme, this power cannot be unduly restricted by mere creations of
the State.

More importantly, the assailed provisions of R.A. No. 9337 already involve legislative policy
and wisdom. So long as there is a public end for which R.A. No. 9337 was passed, the means
through which such end shall be accomplished is for the legislature to choose so long as it is
within constitutional bounds. As stated in Carmichael vs. Southern Coal & Coke Co.:

If the question were ours to decide, we could not say that the legislature, in adopting the
present scheme rather than another, had no basis for its choice, or was arbitrary or
unreasonable in its action. But, as the state is free to distribute the burden of a tax without
regard to the particular purpose for which it is to be used, there is no warrant in the
Constitution for setting the tax aside because a court thinks that it could have distributed the
burden more wisely. Those are functions reserved for the legislature.9

WHEREFORE, the Motions for Reconsideration are hereby DENIED WITH FINALITY. The
temporary restraining order issued by the Court is LIFTED.

SO ORDERED.
BAI SANDRA S. A. SEMA, G.R. No. 177597
Petitioner,
DECISION

- versus -
CARPIO, J.:
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
and DIDAGEN P. DILANGALEN,
The Case
Respondents.

x------------------------x These consolidated petitions[1] seek to annul Resolution No. 7902, dated 10 May 2007, of the

Commission on Elections (COMELEC) treating Cotabato City as part of the legislative district

of the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan.[2]


PERFECTO F. MARQUEZ, G.R. No. 178628

Petitioner, The Facts

Present:

PUNO, C.J., The Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution apportioned two legislative districts for
QUISUMBING,
the Province of Maguindanao. The first legislative district consists of Cotabato City and eight
YNARES-SANTIAGO,
municipalities.[3] Maguindanao forms part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
CARPIO,
(ARMM), created under its Organic Act, Republic Act No. 6734 (RA 6734), as amended by
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, Republic Act No. 9054 (RA 9054).[4] Although under the Ordinance, Cotabato City forms part
CORONA,
CARPIO MORALES, of Maguindanaos first legislative district, it is not part of the ARMM but of Region XII, having
- versus - AZCUNA, voted against its inclusion in the ARMM in the plebiscite held in November 1989.
TINGA,
CHICO-NAZARIO,
VELASCO, JR.,
NACHURA, On 28 August 2006, the ARMMs legislature, the ARMM Regional Assembly, exercising its
REYES, power to create provinces under Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054, [5] enacted Muslim
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO,
and Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 201 (MMA Act 201) creating the Province of Shariff
BRION, JJ.
Kabunsuan composed of the eight municipalities in the first district of Maguindanao. MMA

Act 201 provides:


COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, Promulgated: Section 1. The Municipalities of Barira, Buldon, Datu Odin Sinsuat,
Respondent. July 16, 2008 Kabuntalan, Matanog, Parang, Sultan Kudarat, Sultan Mastura, and Upi
are hereby separated from the Province of Maguindanao and constituted
into a distinct and independent province, which is hereby created, to be
known as the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan.
x--------------------------------------------------x
xxxx In answer to Cotabato Citys query, the COMELEC issued Resolution No. 07-0407 on 6 March

2007 "maintaining the status quo with Cotabato City as part of Shariff Kabunsuan in the First
Sec. 5. The corporate existence of this province shall commence
upon the appointment by the Regional Governor or election of the Legislative District of Maguindanao. Resolution No. 07-0407, which adopted the
governor and majority of the regular members of the Sangguniang
recommendation of the COMELECs Law Department under a Memorandum dated 27
Panlalawigan.
February 2007,[7] provides in pertinent parts:
The incumbent elective provincial officials of the Province of
Maguindanao shall continue to serve their unexpired terms in the
province that they will choose or where they are residents: Provided, that Considering the foregoing, the Commission RESOLVED, as it hereby
where an elective position in both provinces becomes vacant as a resolves, to adopt the recommendation of the Law Department
consequence of the creation of the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan, all that pending the enactment of the appropriate law by Congress, to
incumbent elective provincial officials shall have preference for maintain the status quo with Cotabato City as part of Shariff Kabunsuan
appointment to a higher elective vacant position and for the time being in the First Legislative District of Maguindanao. (Emphasis supplied)
be appointed by the Regional Governor, and shall hold office until their
successors shall have been elected and qualified in the next local
elections; Provided, further, that they shall continue to receive the
salaries they are receiving at the time of the approval of this Act until the
new readjustment of salaries in accordance with law. Provided, However, in preparation for the 14 May 2007 elections, the COMELEC promulgated
furthermore, that there shall be no diminution in the number of the on 29 March 2007 Resolution No. 7845 stating that Maguindanaos first legislative district is
members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the mother province.
composed only of Cotabato City because of the enactment of MMA Act 201.[8]
Except as may be provided by national law, the existing legislative
district, which includes Cotabato as a part thereof, shall remain.
On 10 May 2007, the COMELEC issued Resolution No. 7902, subject of these petitions,

amending Resolution No. 07-0407 by renaming the legislative district in question


Later, three new municipalities[6] were carved out of the original nine municipalities
as Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City (formerly First District of Maguindanao
constituting Shariff Kabunsuan, bringing its total number of municipalities to 11. Thus, what
with Cotabato City).[9]
was left of Maguindanao were the municipalities constituting its second legislative

district. Cotabato City, although part of Maguindanaos first legislative district, is not part of
In G.R. No. 177597, Sema, who was a candidate in the 14 May 2007 elections for
the Province of Maguindanao.
Representative of Shariff Kabunsuan withCotabato City, prayed for the nullification of

COMELEC Resolution No. 7902 and the exclusion from canvassing of the votes cast
The voters of Maguindanao ratified Shariff Kabunsuans creation in a plebiscite held
in Cotabato City for that office. Sema contended that Shariff Kabunsuan is entitled to one
on 29 October 2006.
representative in Congress under Section 5 (3), Article VI of the Constitution [10] and Section 3
On 6 February 2007, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cotabato City passed
of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution.[11] Thus, Sema asserted that the COMELEC
Resolution No. 3999 requesting the COMELEC to clarify the status of Cotabato City in view of
acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction in issuing Resolution No. 7902 which maintained
the conversion of the First District of Maguindanao into a regular province under MMA Act
the status quo in Maguindanaos first legislative district despite the COMELECs earlier
201.
directive in Resolution No. 7845 designating Cotabato City as the lone component of
Maguindanaos reapportioned first legislative district.[12] Sema further claimed that in issuing Assembly under Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054 is entitled to one representative in the

Resolution No. 7902, the COMELEC usurped Congress power to create or reapportion House of Representatives without need of a national law creating a legislative district for

legislative districts. such new province. The parties submitted their compliance as follows:

In its Comment, the COMELEC, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), chose not to
(1) Sema answered the issue in the affirmative on the following grounds: (a) the
reach the merits of the case and merely contended that (1) Sema wrongly availed of the writ
Court in Felwa v. Salas[14] stated that when a province is created by statute, the
of certiorari to nullify COMELEC Resolution No. 7902 because the COMELEC issued the same
corresponding representative district comes into existence neither by authority of that
in the exercise of its administrative, not quasi-judicial, power and (2) Semas prayer for the
statute which cannot provide otherwise nor by apportionment, but by operation of the
writ of prohibition in G.R. No. 177597 became moot with the proclamation of respondent
Constitution, without a reapportionment; (b) Section 462 of Republic Act No. 7160 (RA 7160)
Didagen P. Dilangalen (respondent Dilangalen) on 1 June 2007 as representative of the
affirms the apportionment of a legislative district incident to the creation of a province; and
legislative district of Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City.
(c) Section 5 (3), Article VI of the Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to

the Constitution mandate theapportionment of a legislative district in newly created


In his Comment, respondent Dilangalen countered that Sema is estopped from questioning
provinces.
COMELEC Resolution No. 7902 because in her certificate of candidacy filed on 29 March

2007, Sema indicated that she was seeking election as representative of Shariff Kabunsuan
(2) The COMELEC, again represented by the OSG, apparently abandoned its earlier
including Cotabato City. Respondent Dilangalen added that COMELEC Resolution No. 7902 is
stance on the propriety of issuing Resolution Nos. 07-0407 and 7902 and joined causes with
constitutional because it did not apportion a legislative district for Shariff Kabunsuan or
Sema, contending that Section 5 (3), Article VI of the Constitution is self-executing. Thus,
reapportion the legislative districts in Maguindanao but merely renamed Maguindanaos first
every new province created by the ARMM Regional Assembly is ipso facto entitled to one
legislative district. Respondent Dilangalen further claimed that the COMELEC could not
representative in the House of Representatives even in the absence of a national law; and
reapportion Maguindanaos first legislative district to make Cotabato City its sole component

unit as the power to reapportion legislative districts lies exclusively with Congress, not to
(3) Respondent Dilangalen answered the issue in the negative on the following
mention that Cotabato City does not meet the minimum population requirement under
grounds: (a) the province contemplated in Section 5 (3), Article VI of the Constitution is one
Section 5 (3), Article VI of the Constitution for the creation of a legislative district within a
that is created by an act of Congress taking into account the provisions in RA 7160 on the
city.[13]
creation of provinces; (b) Section 3, Article IV of RA 9054 withheld from the ARMM Regional

Assembly the power to enact measures relating to national elections, which encompasses
Sema filed a Consolidated Reply controverting the matters raised in respondents Comments
the apportionment of legislative districts for members of the House of Representatives; (c)
and reiterating her claim that the COMELEC acted ultra vires in issuing Resolution No. 7902.
recognizing a legislative district in every province the ARMM Regional Assembly creates will

In the Resolution of 4 September 2007, the Court required the parties in G.R. No. lead to the disproportionate representation of the ARMM in the House of Representatives as

177597 to comment on the issue of whether a province created by the ARMM Regional the Regional Assembly can create provinces without regard to the requirements in Section
461 of RA 7160; and (d) Cotabato City, which has a population of less than 250,000, is not (b) the grant under Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054 to the ARMM Regional Assembly of the

entitled to a representative in the House of Representatives. power to prescribe standards lower than those mandated in Section 461 of RA 7160 on the

creation of provinces contravenes Section 10, Article X of the Constitution and the Equal

On 27 November 2007, the Court heard the parties in G.R. No. 177597 in oral Protection Clause; and

arguments on the following issues: (1) whether Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054, delegating

to the ARMM Regional Assembly the power to create provinces, is constitutional; and (2) if in (3) The COMELEC, through the OSG, joined causes with respondent Dilangalen

the affirmative, whether a province created under Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054 is entitled (thus effectively abandoning the position the COMELEC adopted in its Compliance with the

to one representative in the House of Representatives without need of a national law Resolution of 4 September 2007) and contended that Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054 is

creating a legislative district for such new province.[15] unconstitutional because (a) it contravenes Section 10 and Section 6,[20] Article X of the

Constitution and (b) the power to create provinces was withheld from the autonomous

In compliance with the Resolution dated 27 November 2007, the parties in G.R. No. regions under Section 20, Article X of the Constitution.

177597 filed their respective Memoranda on the issues raised in the oral arguments. [16] On

the question of the constitutionality of Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054, the parties in G.R. On the question of whether a province created under Section 19, Article VI of RA

No. 177597 adopted the following positions: 9054 is entitled to one representative in the House of Representatives without need of a

national law creating a legislative district for such new province, Sema and respondent

(1) Sema contended that Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054 is constitutional (a) as a Dilangalen reiterated in their Memoranda the positions they adopted in their Compliance

valid delegation by Congress to the ARMM of the power to create provinces under Section 20 with the Resolution of 4 September 2007. The COMELEC deemed it unnecessary to submit its
(9), Article X of the Constitution granting to the autonomous regions, through their organic position on this issue considering its stance that Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054 is

acts, legislative powers over other matters as may be authorized by law for the promotion of unconstitutional.

the general welfare of the people of the region and (b) as an amendment to Section 6 of RA

7160.[17] However, Sema concedes that, if taken literally, the grant in Section 19, Article VI of The pendency of the petition in G.R. No. 178628 was disclosed during the oral

RA 9054 to the ARMM Regional Assembly of the power to prescribe standards lower than arguments on 27 November 2007. Thus, in the Resolution of 19 February 2008, the Court

those mandated in RA 7160 in the creation of provinces contravenes Section 10, Article X of ordered G.R. No. 178628 consolidated with G.R. No. 177597. The petition in G.R. No.178628

the Constitution.[18] Thus, Sema proposed that Section 19 should be construed as prohibiting echoed Sema's contention that the COMELEC acted ultra vires in issuing Resolution No. 7902

the Regional Assembly from prescribing standards x x x that do not comply with the depriving the voters ofCotabato City of a representative in the House of Representatives. In

minimum criteria under RA 7160.[19] its Comment to the petition in G.R. No. 178628, the COMELEC, through the OSG, maintained
the validity of COMELEC Resolution No. 7902 as a temporary measure pending the

(2) Respondent Dilangalen contended that Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054 is enactment by Congress of the appropriate law.

unconstitutional on the following grounds: (a) the power to create provinces was not among

those granted to the autonomous regions under Section 20, Article X of the Constitution and
The Issues
The petitions have no merit. We rule that (1) Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054 is
The petitions raise the following issues:
unconstitutional insofar as it grants to the ARMM Regional Assembly the power to create

provinces and cities; (2) MMA Act 201 creating the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan is void; and
I. In G.R. No. 177597:

(A) Preliminarily (3) COMELEC Resolution No. 7902 is valid.

(1) whether the writs of Certiorari, Prohibition, and Mandamus are proper to test

the constitutionality of COMELEC Resolution No. 7902; and

(2) whether the proclamation of respondent Dilangalen as representative

of Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato Citymooted the petition in G.R. No. 177597.

(B) On the merits

(1) whether Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054, delegating to the ARMM Regional

Assembly the power to create provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays, is


On the Preliminary Matters
constitutional; and

(2) if in the affirmative, whether a province created by the ARMM Regional

Assembly under MMA Act 201 pursuant to Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054 is entitled to one
representative in the House of Representatives without need of a national law creating a The Writ of Prohibition is Appropriate

legislative district for such province. to Test the Constitutionality of

Election Laws, Rules and Regulations


II. In G.R No. 177597 and G.R No. 178628, whether COMELEC Resolution No. 7902

is valid for maintaining the status quo in the first legislative district of Maguindanao (as

Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City [formerly First District of Maguindanao with The purpose of the writ of Certiorari is to correct grave abuse of discretion by any

Cotabato City]), despite the creation of the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan out of such district tribunal, board, or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions.[21] On the other hand,
(excluding Cotabato City). the writ of Mandamus will issue to compel a tribunal, corporation, board, officer, or person

to perform an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty.[22] True, the COMELEC did not
The Ruling of the Court
issue Resolution No. 7902 in the exercise of its judicial or quasi-judicial functions.[23] Nor is

there a law which specifically enjoins the COMELEC to exclude from canvassing the votes cast
in Cotabato City for representative of Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City. These,

however, do not justify the outright dismissal of the petition in G.R. No. 177597 because
Whether the ARMM Regional Assembly
Sema also prayed for the issuance of the writ of Prohibition and we have long recognized this
Can Create the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan
writ as proper for testing the constitutionality of election laws, rules, and regulations.[24]

Respondent Dilangalens Proclamation


The creation of local government units is governed by Section 10, Article X of the
Does Not Moot the Petition Constitution, which provides:

Sec. 10. No province, city, municipality, or barangay may be


There is also no merit in the claim that respondent Dilangalens proclamation as winner in created, divided, merged, abolished or its boundary substantially altered
except in accordance with the criteria established in the local
the 14 May 2007 elections for representative government code and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast
in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected.
of Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City mooted this petition. This case does not

concern respondent Dilangalens election. Rather, it involves an inquiry into the validity of

COMELEC Resolution No. 7902, as well as the constitutionality of MMA Act 201 and Section

19, Article VI of RA 9054. Admittedly, the outcome of this petition, one way or another,
Thus, the creation of any of the four local government units province, city, municipality or
determines whether the votes cast in Cotabato City for representative of the district barangay must comply with three conditions. First, the creation of a local government unit

of Shariff Kabunsuan Province withCotabato City will be included in the canvassing of must follow the criteria fixed in the Local Government Code. Second, such creation must not

ballots. However, this incidental consequence is no reason for us not to proceed with the conflict with any provision of the Constitution. Third, there must be a plebiscite in the

political units affected.


resolution of the novel issues raised here. The Courts ruling in these petitions affects not only

the recently concluded elections but also all the other succeeding elections for the office in

question, as well as the power of the ARMM Regional Assembly to create in the future
There is neither an express prohibition nor an express grant of authority in the Constitution
additional provinces. for Congress to delegate to regional or local legislative bodies the power to create local

government units. However, under its plenary legislative powers, Congress can delegate to

local legislative bodies the power to create local government units, subject to reasonable
On the Main Issues
standards and provided no conflict arises with any provision of the Constitution. In fact, Clearly, a province cannot be created without a legislative district because it will

Congress has delegated to provincial boards, and city and municipal councils, the power to violate Section 5 (3), Article VI of the Constitution as well as Section 3 of the Ordinance

create barangays within their jurisdiction,[25] subject to compliance with the criteria appended to the Constitution. For the same reason, a city with a population of 250,000 or

established in the Local Government Code, and the plebiscite requirement in Section 10, more cannot also be created without a legislative district. Thus, the power to create a

Article X of the Constitution. However, under the Local Government Code, only x x x an Act of province, or a city with a population of 250,000 or more, requires also the power to create a

Congress can create provinces, cities or municipalities.[26] legislative district. Even the creation of a city with a population of less than 250,000 involves

the power to create a legislative district because once the citys population reaches 250,000,

the city automatically becomes entitled to one representative under Section 5 (3), Article VI

Under Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054, Congress delegated to the ARMM Regional Assembly of the Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution. Thus, the

the power to create provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays within the power to create a province or city inherently involves the power to create a legislative

ARMM. Congress made the delegation under its plenary legislative powers because the district.

power to create local government units is not one of the express legislative powers granted

by the Constitution to regional legislative bodies.[27] In the present case, the question arises

whether the delegation to the ARMM Regional Assembly of the power to create provinces, For Congress to delegate validly the power to create a province or city, it must also

cities, municipalities and barangays conflicts with any provision of the Constitution. validly delegate at the same time the power to create a legislative district. The threshold

issue then is, can Congress validly delegate to the ARMM Regional Assembly the power to

create legislative districts for the House of Representatives? The answer is in the negative.

There is no provision in the Constitution that conflicts with the delegation to regional

legislative bodies of the power to create municipalities and barangays, provided Section 10,

Article X of the Constitution is followed. However, the creation of provinces and cities is Legislative Districts are Created or Reapportioned
another matter. Section 5 (3), Article VI of the Constitution provides, Each city with a
Only by an Act of Congress
population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall have at least one

representative in the House of Representatives. Similarly, Section 3 of the Ordinance


Under the present Constitution, as well as in past[28] Constitutions, the power to
appended to the Constitution provides, Any province that may hereafter be created, or any

city whose population may hereafter increase to more than two hundred fifty thousand shall increase the allowable membership in the House of Representatives, and to reapportion

be entitled in the immediately following election to at least one Member x x x. legislative districts, is vested exclusively in Congress. Section 5, Article VI of the Constitution

provides:
SECTION 5. (1) The House of Representatives shall be districts necessarily includes the power to create legislative districts out of existing ones.

composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members, unless Congress exercises these powers through a law that Congress itself enacts, and not through a

otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from legislative districts law that regional or local legislative bodies enact. The allowable membership of the House of

apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila Representatives can be increased, and new legislative districts of Congress can be created,

area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and only through a national law passed by Congress. In Montejo v. COMELEC,[29] we held that the

on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as power of redistricting x x x is traditionally regarded as part of the power (of Congress) to

provided by law, shall be elected through a party-list system of registered make laws, and thus is vested exclusively in Congress.

national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations.

This textual commitment to Congress of the exclusive power to create or

xxxx reapportion legislative districts is logical. Congress is a national legislature and any increase in

its allowable membership or in its incumbent membership through the creation of legislative

(3) Each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, districts must be embodied in a national law. Only Congress can enact such a law. It would be

contiguous, compact, and adjacent territory. Each city with a population anomalous for regional or local legislative bodies to create or reapportion legislative districts

of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall have at for a national legislature like Congress. An inferior legislative body, created by a superior

least one representative. legislative body, cannot change the membership of the superior legislative body.

(4) Within three years following the return of every census, the The creation of the ARMM, and the grant of legislative powers to its Regional

Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative districtsbased on Assembly under its organic act, did not divest Congress of its exclusive authority to create

the standards provided in this section. (Emphasis supplied) legislative districts. This is clear from the Constitution and the ARMM Organic Act, as

amended. Thus, Section 20, Article X of the Constitution provides:

SECTION 20. Within its territorial jurisdiction and subject to the

Section 5 (1), Article VI of the Constitution vests in Congress the power to increase, provisions of this Constitution and national laws, the organic act of

through a law, the allowable membership in the House of Representatives. Section 5 (4) autonomous regions shall provide for legislative powers over:

empowers Congress to reapportion legislative districts. The power to reapportion legislative (1) Administrative organization;
(2) Creation of sources of revenues; of its occupant is paid out of national funds. It is a self-evident inherent limitation on the

(3) Ancestral domain and natural resources; legislative powers of every local or regional legislative body that it can only create local or

(4) Personal, family, and property relations; regional offices, respectively, and it can never create a national office.

(5) Regional urban and rural planning development;

(6) Economic, social, and tourism development; To allow the ARMM Regional Assembly to create a national office is to allow its

(7) Educational policies; legislative powers to operate outside the ARMMs territorial jurisdiction. This violates Section

(8) Preservation and development of the cultural heritage; and 20, Article X of the Constitution which expressly limits the coverage of the Regional

(9) Such other matters as may be authorized by law for the Assemblys legislative powers [w]ithin its territorial jurisdiction x x x.

promotion of the general welfare of the people of the region.

The ARMM Regional Assembly itself, in creating Shariff Kabunsuan, recognized the

Nothing in Section 20, Article X of the Constitution authorizes autonomous regions, exclusive nature of Congress power to create or reapportion legislative districts by abstaining

expressly or impliedly, to create or reapportion legislative districts for Congress. from creating a legislative district for Shariff Kabunsuan. Section 5 of MMA Act 201 provides

that:

On the other hand, Section 3, Article IV of RA 9054 amending the ARMM Organic

Act, provides, The Regional Assembly may exercise legislative power x x x except on the Except as may be provided by national law, the existing

following matters: x x x (k) National elections. x x x. Since the ARMM Regional Assembly has legislative district, which includes Cotabato City as a part thereof, shall

no legislative power to enact laws relating to national elections, it cannot create a legislative remain. (Emphasis supplied)

district whose representative is elected in national elections. Whenever Congress enacts a

law creating a legislative district, the first representative is always elected in the next However, a province cannot legally be created without a legislative district because the

Constitution mandates that each province shall have at least one representative. Thus, the
national elections from the effectivity of the law.[30]
creation of the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan without a legislative district is unconstitutional.
Indeed, the office of a legislative district representative to Congress is a national

office, and its occupant, a Member of the House of Representatives, is a national


Sema, petitioner in G.R. No. 177597, contends that Section 5 (3), Article VI of the
official.[31] It would be incongruous for a regional legislative body like the ARMM Regional
Constitution, which provides:
Assembly to create a national office when its legislative powers extend only to its regional

territory. The office of a district representative is maintained by national funds and the salary
Each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, provide otherwise nor by apportionment, but by operation of the Constitution, without a

contiguous, compact, and adjacent territory. Each city with a population reapportionment.

of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall have at

least one representative. (Emphasis supplied) The contention has no merit.

and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution, which states: First. The issue in Felwa, among others, was whether Republic Act No. 4695 (RA 4695),

creating the provinces of Benguet, Mountain Province, Ifugao, and Kalinga-Apayao and

Any province that may hereafter be created, or any city whose providing for congressional representation in the old and new provinces, was

population may hereafter increase to more than two hundred fifty unconstitutional for creati[ng] congressional districts without the apportionment provided in

thousand shall be entitled in the immediately following election to at the Constitution. The Court answered in the negative, thus:

least one Member or such number of Members as it may be entitled to

on the basis of the number of its inhabitants and according to the The Constitution ordains:

standards set forth in paragraph (3), Section 5 of Article VI of the The House of Representatives shall be composed of
not more than one hundred and twenty Members
Constitution. The number of Members apportioned to the province out who shall be apportioned among the several
provinces as nearly as may be according to the
of which such new province was created or where the city, whose number of their respective inhabitants, but each
province shall have at least one Member. The
population has so increased, is geographically located shall be Congress shall by law make an apportionment within
three years after the return of every enumeration,
correspondingly adjusted by the Commission on Elections but such
and not otherwise. Until such apportionment shall
have been made, the House of Representatives shall
adjustment shall not be made within one hundred and twenty days
have the same number of Members as that fixed by
before the election. (Emphasis supplied) law for the National Assembly, who shall be elected
by the qualified electors from the present Assembly
districts. Each representative district shall comprise as
far as practicable, contiguous and compact territory.
serve as bases for the conclusion that the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan, created on 29 Pursuant to this Section, a representative district may come into
existence: (a) indirectly, through the creation of a province for each
October 2006, is automatically entitled to one member in the House of Representatives in province shall have at least one member in the House of
Representatives; or (b) by direct creation of several representative
the 14 May 2007 elections. As further support for her stance, petitioner invokes the districts within a province. The requirements concerning the
apportionment of representative districts and the territory thereof refer
statement in Felwa that when a province is created by statute, the corresponding only to the second method of creation of representative districts, and do
not apply to those incidental to the creation of provinces, under the first
representative district comes into existence neither by authority of that statute which cannot method. This is deducible, not only from the general tenor of the
provision above quoted, but, also, from the fact that the apportionment
therein alluded to refers to that which is made by an Act of
Congress. Indeed, when a province is created by statute, the district. Thus, when a province is created, a legislative district is created by operation of the
corresponding representative district, comes into existence neither by
authority of that statute which cannot provide otherwise nor by Constitution because the Constitution provides that each province shall have at least one
apportionment, but by operation of the Constitution, without a
reapportionment. representative in the House of Representatives. This does not detract from the constitutional

There is no constitutional limitation as to the time when, territory of, or principle that the power to create legislative districts belongs exclusively to Congress. It

other conditions under which a province may be created, except, merely prevents any other legislative body, except Congress, from creating provinces

perhaps, if the consequence thereof were to exceed the maximum of 120 because for a legislative body to create a province such legislative body must have the power

representative districts prescribed in the Constitution, which is not the to create legislative districts. In short, only an act of Congress can trigger the creation of a

effect of the legislation under consideration. As a matter of fact, legislative district by operation of the Constitution. Thus, only Congress has the power to

provinces have been created or subdivided into other provinces, with the create, or trigger the creation of, a legislative district.

consequent creation of additional representative districts, without

complying with the aforementioned requirements.[32] (Emphasis Moreover, if as Sema claims MMA Act 201 apportioned a legislative district to

supplied) Shariff Kabunsuan upon its creation, this will leave Cotabato City as the lone component of

the first legislative district of Maguindanao. However, Cotabato City cannot constitute a

legislative district by itself because as of the census taken in 2000, it had a population of only

Thus, the Court sustained the constitutionality of RA 4695 because (1) it validly created 163,849. To constitute Cotabato City alone as the surviving first legislative district of

legislative districts indirectly through a special law enacted by Congress creating a Maguindanao will violate Section 5 (3), Article VI of the Constitution which requires that

province and (2) the creation of the legislative districts will not result in breaching the [E]ach city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand x x x, shall have at least

maximum number of legislative districts provided under the 1935 Constitution. Felwa does one representative.

not apply to the present case because in Felwa the new provinces were created by a national

law enacted by Congress itself. Here, the new province was created merely by a regional law Second. Semas theory also undermines the composition and independence of the

enacted by the ARMM Regional Assembly. House of Representatives. Under Section 19,[33] Article VI of RA 9054, the ARMM Regional

Assembly can create provinces and cities within the ARMM with or withoutregard to the

What Felwa teaches is that the creation of a legislative district by Congress does criteria fixed in Section 461 of RA 7160, namely: minimum annual income of P20,000,000,

not emanate alone from Congress power to reapportion legislative districts, but also from and minimum contiguous territory of 2,000 square kilometers or minimum population of

Congress power to create provinces which cannot be created without a legislative 250,000.[34] The following scenarios thus become distinct possibilities:
(1) An inferior legislative body like the ARMM Regional
Assembly can create 100 or more provinces and thus increase the without Congress agreeing to it, is that what you are saying?
membership of a superior legislative body, the House of Representatives,
beyond the maximum limit of 250 fixed in the Constitution (unless a That can be done, under your theory[?]
national law provides otherwise);

(2) The proportional representation in the House


of Representatives based on one representative for at least every Atty. Vistan II:
250,000 residents will be negated because the ARMM Regional Assembly
need not comply with the requirement in Section 461(a)(ii) of RA 7160
that every province created must have a population of at least 250,000;
Yes, Your Honor, under the correct factual circumstances.
and

(3) Representatives from the ARMM provinces can become the


majority in the House of Representatives through the ARMM Regional Justice Carpio:
Assemblys continuous creation of provinces or cities within the ARMM.
Under your theory, the ARMM legislature can create thirty-five

(35) new provinces, there may be x x x [only] one hundred

thousand (100,000) [population], x x x, and they will each have


The following exchange during the oral arguments of the petition in G.R. No.
one representative x x x to Congress without any national law,
177597 highlights the absurdity of Semas position that the ARMM Regional Assembly can
is that what you are saying?
create provinces:

Atty. Vistan II:

Justice Carpio:
Without law passed by Congress, yes, Your Honor, that is what
So, you mean to say [a] Local Government can create legislative
we are saying.
district[s] and pack Congress with their own representatives [?]

xxxx
Atty. Vistan II:[35]
Justice Carpio:
Yes, Your Honor, because the Constitution allows that.
So, they can also create one thousand (1000) new provinces,
Justice Carpio:
sen[d] one thousand (1000) representatives to the House of
So, [the] Regional Assembly of [the] ARMM can create and
Representatives without a national law[,] that is legally
create x x x provinces x x x and, therefore, they can have thirty-
possible, correct?
five (35) new representatives in the House of Representatives
there is a need now for Congress to increase by law the allowable membership of the House,

Atty. Vistan II: even before Congress can create new provinces.

Yes, Your Honor.[36] (Emphasis supplied) It is axiomatic that organic acts of autonomous regions cannot prevail over the

Constitution. Section 20, Article X of the Constitution expressly provides that the legislative

powers of regional assemblies are limited [w]ithin its territorial jurisdiction and subject to

Neither the framers of the 1987 Constitution in adopting the provisions in Article X the provisions of the Constitution and national laws, x x x. The Preamble of the ARMM

on regional autonomy,[37] nor Congress in enacting RA 9054, envisioned or intended these Organic Act (RA 9054) itself states that the ARMM Government is established within the

disastrous consequences that certainly would wreck the tri-branch system of government framework of the Constitution. This follows Section 15, Article X of the Constitution which

under our Constitution. Clearly, the power to create or reapportion legislative districts mandates that the ARMM shall be created x x x within the framework of this

cannot be delegated by Congress but must be exercised by Congress itself. Even the ARMM Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of

Regional Assembly recognizes this. the Philippines.

The Constitution empowered Congress to create or reapportion legislative districts, not the The present case involves the creation of a local government unit that necessarily

regional assemblies. Section 3 of the Ordinance to the Constitution which states, [A]ny involves also the creation of a legislative district. The Court will not pass upon the

province that may hereafter be created x x x shall be entitled in the immediately following constitutionality of the creation of municipalities and barangays that does not comply with

election to at least one Member, refers to a province created by Congress itself through a the criteria established in Section 461 of RA 7160, as mandated in Section 10, Article X of the

national law. The reason is that the creation of a province increases the actual membership Constitution, because the creation of such municipalities and barangays does not involve the

of the House of Representatives, an increase that only Congress can decide. Incidentally, in creation of legislative districts. We leave the resolution of this issue to an appropriate case.

the present 14th Congress, there are 219[38] district representatives out of the maximum 250

seats in the House of Representatives. Since party-list members shall constitute 20 percent of In summary, we rule that Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054, insofar as it grants to the ARMM

total membership of the House, there should at least be 50 party-list seats available in every Regional Assembly the power to create provinces and cities, is void for being contrary to

election in case 50 party-list candidates are proclaimed winners. This leaves only 200 seats Section 5 of Article VI and Section 20 of Article X of the Constitution, as well as Section 3 of

for district representatives, much less than the 219 incumbent district representatives. Thus, the Ordinance appended to the Constitution. Only Congress can create provinces and cities

because the creation of provinces and cities necessarily includes the creation of legislative
districts, a power only Congress can exercise under Section 5, Article VI of the Constitution

and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution. The ARMM Regional Assembly
Let a copy of this ruling be served on the President of the Senate and the Speaker
cannot create a province without a legislative district because the Constitution mandates
of the House of Representatives.
that every province shall have a legislative district.Moreover, the ARMM Regional Assembly

cannot enact a law creating a national office like the office of a district representative of
SO ORDERED.
Congress because the legislative powers of the ARMM Regional Assembly operate only

within its territorial jurisdiction as provided in Section 20, Article X of the Constitution. Thus,

we rule that MMA Act 201, enacted by the ARMM Regional Assembly and creating the

Province of Shariff Kabunsuan, is void.

Resolution No. 7902 Complies with the Constitution

Consequently, we hold that COMELEC Resolution No. 7902, preserving the

geographic and legislative district of the First District of Maguindanao with Cotabato City, is

valid as it merely complies with Section 5 of Article VI and Section 20 of Article X of the

Constitution, as well as Section 1 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution.

WHEREFORE, we declare Section 19, Article VI of Republic Act No.

9054 UNCONSTITUTIONAL insofar as it grants to the Regional Assembly of the Autonomous

Region in Muslim Mindanao the power to create provinces and cities. Thus, we

declare VOID Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 201 creating the Province of Shariff

Kabunsuan. Consequently, we rule that COMELEC Resolution No. 7902 is VALID.


G.R. No. L-19748 September 13, 1962 Perez's "friendly gesture of advising petitioner to resign from his position in order to avoid
the unpleasant consequences of having to face an administrative action for violation of the
PAULINO J. GARCIA, Petitioner, vs. THE HON. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, and JUAN SALCEDO, Revised Administrative Code on the basis of evidence then on hand", respondent Executive
JR., in his capacity as Acting Chairman of the National Science Development Secretary required petitioner in writing to explain charges for alleged electioneering based
Board, Respondents. on the affidavits of four individuals. On February 15, petitioner submitted his written
explanation denying under oath the said charges claiming them to be false, malicious and
unsubstantial. On the following day, February 16, respondent Executive Secretary advised
Claudio Teehankee and Juan T. David for petitioner.
petitioner, by authority of the President, that his explanation was found unsatisfactory, and
Office of the Solicitor General for respondents.
immediately ordered his preventive suspension from office effective upon receipt of the
Enrique M. Fernando as amicus curiae.
communication. Thus, the preventive suspension took effect on Monday, February 18, 1962.
On the day previous, or on Sunday, February 17, 1962, the respondent Juan Salcedo, Jr. was
designated by the President as Acting Chairman of the National Science Development
Board.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

BARRERA, J.:chanrobles virtual law library By Administrative Order No. 5 dated February 17, 1962, an investigating committee was
created. On February 23, another charge of dishonesty in office was filed with the
This is a petition filed by petitioner, Dr. Paulino J. Garcia, Chairman of the National investigating committee against petitioner. On February 27, the investigating committee
Science Development Board created by Republic Act 2067 otherwise known the "Science Act commenced the investigation of the administrative charges and, after some delays caused by
of 1958" against the respondents Executive Secretary and Juan Salcedo, Jr., the latter in his the unpreparedness of the prosecution, the hearing was indefinitely postponed because of
capacity as Acting Chairman of the same National Science Development Board, in the form the departure for abroad, on March 19, 1962, on extended vacation, of one of the members
of quo warranto an prohibition with preliminary injunction, with prayer that the further of the committee (former Justice Ramon San Jose) who, before his appointment, apprised
preventive suspension of petitioner beyond the maximum period of 60 days, provided in the President thereof but was advised he could go as the investigation could be postponed
Section of the Civil Service Act of 1959 (Rep. Act 2260), be declared illegal and void, and that during his absence.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
respondent Juan Salcedo, Jr. be likewise declared guilty of unlawfully holding an exercising
the functions of the office of Chairman of the National Science Development Board since In view of his indefinite suspension, petitioner, on May 5, 1962, filed the present
April 19, 1962 date of the expiration of the said 60-day petition praying in effect that the 60-day period prescribed in the Civil Service Law for
period.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library preventive suspension having already expired on April 19, 1962, he be reinstated in the
service pursuant to Section 35 of the said Act.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual
Succinctly stated, the pertinent facts of this case are as follows:chanrobles virtual law law library
library
The clear-cut issue, therefore, before us is the effect and scope of the aforementioned
Upon the enactment on June 13, 1958 of Republic Act 2067, creating the National Section 35 of the Civil Service Act, which reads:
Science Development Board for the avowed purpose of implementing the declared policy of
the State to integrate, coordinate, promote and intensify scientific and technological Sec 35. Lifting of Preventive Suspension Pending Administrative Investigation. - When
research and development and to foster invention and utilize scientific knowledge as an the administrative against the officer or employee under preventive suspension not finally
effective instrument for the promotion of national progress, petitioner herein, Dr. Paulino J. decided by the Commissioner of Civil Service within the period of sixty (60) days after the
Garcia, was appointed by the President of the Philippines, which appointment was duly date of suspension of the respondent, the respondent shall be reinstated in service. If the
confirmed by the Commission on Appointments, as the first Chairman of the National Science respondent, officer or employee is exonerated, he shall be restored to his position with full
Development Board for a fixed term of six years, pursuant to Section 6 of the Science Act. pay for the period of suspension.
Accepting such appointment, petitioner duly qualified, assumed the performance of the
functions of the office on July 15, 1958, and organized and since then built up the Board into
Contrary to the contention of petitioner that the visions of the above-quoted section
a real effective instrument for scientific advancement that it is
are mandatory Applicable to him, respondents sustain that the compulsory lifting of the
today.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
preventive suspension pending administrative investigation provided in this section, applies
only to officers or employees whose administrative cases are to be decided by the
As a result of the last national elections held in November, 1961, a change of Commissioner of Civil Service, and that with respect to any officer appointed by the
administration took place. Shortly thereafter, or on February 9, 1962, after petitioner President, there is no provision of law regulating the duration of the preventive suspension
declined to heed what respondents admit as the new Assistant Executive Secretary Rodrigo pending investigation of charges against such officer, as is the case of petitioner. In other
words, it is respondents' contention that Section 35 of the Civil Service Act does not apply to Rodrigo, sponsor of the bill which later became the Civil Service Act of 1959 (Rep. Act 2260),
officers appointed by the President answering administrative charges against "suspension cannot be more than 60 days - preventive suspension. Even if the case drags on
them.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library for six months or a year after 60 days of preventive suspension, the suspended employee is
reinstated," (Senate Congressional Record, Vol. II, No. 69, p. 2001). It may be noted that
At the outset, let it be said that Section 35 is a new provision in our Civil Service Law. In Senator Rodrigo did not make any distinction between the preventive suspension of officers
the Revised Administrative Code, in its Article VI on "Discipline of Persons in Civil Service", we by the President and that by the chief of office or bureau, and Section 35 as passed did not
find the same power of preventive suspension exercisable by the President and the chief of a contain any such distinction. Neither is such distinction justifiable, for there is no cogent
bureau or office with the approval of the proper head of department, as is now provided in reason - and none has been suggested - why the protection granted to subordinate
Section 34 of Republic Act 2260, but there is no counterpart in the Administrative Code, of employees is not to be applied to more important public officers. As this Court has ruled in
Section 35 of Act 2260 regarding the lifting of preventive suspension pending administrative the case of Severino Unabia v. The Hon. City Mayor, et al. (53 O.G., No. 1, pp 133-134) -
investigation. This insertion for the first time in our Civil Service Law of an express provision
limiting the duration of preventive suspension is significant and timely. It indicates realization . . . There is no reason for excluding persons in the unclassified service from the
by Congress of the evils of indefinite suspension during investigation, where the respondent benefits extended to those belonging to the classified service. Both are expressly declared to
employee is deprived in the meantime of his means of livelihood, without an opportunity to belong to the Civil Service; hence, the same rights and privileges should be accorded to both.
find work elsewhere, lest he be considered to have abandoned his office. It is for this reason Persons in the unclassified service are so designated because the nature of their work and
that it has been truly said that prolonged suspension is worse than removal. And this is qualifications are not subject to classification, which is not true of those appointed to the
equally true whether the suspended officer or employee is in the classified or unclassified classified service. This can not be a valid reason for denying privileges to the former that are
service, or whether he is a presidential appointee or not. Having in mind the remedial granted to the latter.
purpose of the law, is respondents' contention justifiable that Section 35 of the Civil Service
Act is applicable only to employees whose administrative cases are submitted to the To adopt the theory of respondents that an officer appointed by the President, facing
Commissioner of Civil Service? Except for the insertion of the clause "is not finally decided by administrative charges, can be preventively suspended indefinitely, would be to countenance
the Commissioner of Civil Service" (which would presently be discussed), there is nothing in a situation where the preventive suspension can, in effect, be the penalty itself without a
Section 35 which distinguishes between the preventive suspension of an officer appointed by finding of guilt after due hearing, contrary to the express mandate of the Constitution 1 and
the President and the suspension of subordinate officer or employee undergoing the Civil Service law. 2 This, it is believed, is not conducive to the maintenance of a robust,
administrative investigation. Note that the phrase "officer or employee" used in Section 35, is effective and efficient civil service, the integrity of which has, in this jurisdiction, received
not modified by the word "subordinate" as employed in Section 34 when speaking of the constitutional guarantee, as it places in the hands of the Chief Executive a weapon that could
preventive suspension ordered by the chief of a bureau or office. In fact, the last sentence of be wielded to undermine the security of tenure of public officers. Of course, this is not so in
Section 35 which provides that, "if the respondent officer or employee is exonerated, he shall the case of those officers holding office at the pleasure of the President. But where the
be restored to his position with full pay from the period of suspension", is undeniably tenure of office is fixed, as in the case of herein petitioner, which according to the law he
applicable to all officers and employees whether suspended by the President or by the chief could hold "for 6 years and shall not be removed therefrom except for cause", to sanction
of office or bureau, or investigated by the Commissioner of Civil Service, or by a presidential the stand of respondents would be to nullify and render useless such specific condition
investigating committee.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library imposed by the law itself. If he could be preventively suspended indefinitely, until the final
determination of the administrative charges against him (and under the circumstances, it
The first sentence of Section 35 stating that "when the administrative case against the would be the President himself who would decide the same at a time only he can determine)
officer or employee under preventive suspension is not finally decided by the Commissioner then the provisions of the law both as to the fixity of his tenure and the limitation of his
of Civil Service within the period of 60 days after the date of suspension of the respondent, removal to only for cause would be meaningless. In the guise of a preventive suspension, his
the respondent shall be reinstated in the service", merely demonstrates, we believe, the term of office could be shortened and he could, in effect, be removed without a finding of a
feeling of Congress that, in line with its policy of strengthening the Civil Service of the nation cause duly established after due hearing, in violation of the Constitution. This would set at
and protecting it from the inroads of partisan political considerations, pursuant to the spirit naught the laudable purpose of Congress to surround the tenure of office of the Chairman of
of the Constitution, all disciplinary administrative cases should pass through the impartial the National Science Development Board, which is longer than that of the President himself,
scrutiny of the Commissioner of Civil Service, even though the final decision on the matter with all the safeguards compatible with the purpose of maintaining the office of such officer,
may not be his, as an appeal from such decision of the Commissioner to the Civil Service, considering its highly scientific and technological nature, beyond extraneous influences, and
Board of Appeals is expressly authorized by Section 36 of the same law. So also, it may be of insuring continuity of research and development activities in an atmosphere of stability
conceded without deciding, may the President, in the exercise of his power of control and and detachment so necessary for the fulfillment of its mission, uninterrupted by factors other
supervision over all offices and departments of the executive branch of the government, than removal for cause.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
revise, review, or revoke the decisions of the Commissioner of Civil Service and of the Civil
Service Board of Appeals. But this power has nothing to do with the preventive suspension, Upon these considerations, there is unanimity of opinion among the members of this
because this power has not intended to be a penalty. As explained by Senator Francisco A. Court that the preventive suspension in the case of officers, although appointed by the
President but with a fixed term and removable only for cause, cannot be indefinite. To some
of the members, the provisions of Section 35 limiting the duration to 60 days is applicable to
herein petitioner, as, in their view, it evinces a legislative policy that preventive suspension of
a public officer is not lightly to be resorted to, but only after a previous serious and thorough
scrutiny of the charges and that the prompt and continued hear in thereof should not be
hampered, both in justice to the suspended officer who is without salary during suspension,
and in the interest of public service to avoid as much as possible the interruption of the
efficient functioning of the office that the suspended official holds. Other justices, however,
are of the opinion that while said period may not apply strictly to cases of presidential
appointees facing administrative charges to be decided by the President, the preventive
suspension shall nevertheless be limited to a reasonable period, and in the circumstances of
the present case, they too believe that the further suspension of herein petitioner, who has
been under preventive suspension since February 18, 1962, would no longer be
reasonable.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

WHEREFORE, decision is hereby rendered holding petitioner Dr. Paulino J. Garcia


entitled to immediate reinstatement to his position as Chairman of the National Science
Development Board, without prejudice to the final outcome of the investigation of the
charges against him on which no opinion is here expressed. Respondent Juan Salcedo, Jr. is
hereby ordered to immediately vacate and cease to exercise the functions of the said office
and to deliver the same to herein petitioner Paulino J. Garcia. No costs. So ordered.

Bengzon, C.J., Padilla, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Dizon and Makalintal, JJ.,
concur.
Paredes and Regala, JJ., took no part.
G.R. No. 101273 July 3, 1992 Sec. 24: All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing increase
of the public debt, bills of local application, and private bills shall
CONGRESSMAN ENRIQUE T. GARCIA (Second District of Bataan), petitioner, originate exclusively in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may
vs. propose or concur with amendments.
THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, THE COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS, THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC
AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, THE TARIFF COMMISSION, THE SECRETARY OF FINANCE, He contends that since the Constitution vests the authority to enact revenue bills in
and THE ENERGY REGULATORY BOARD, respondents. Congress, the President may not assume such power by issuing Executive Orders
Nos. 475 and 478 which are in the nature of revenue-generating measures.

Petitioner further argues that Executive Orders No. 475 and 478 contravene Section 401 of
FELICIANO, J.: the Tariff and Customs Code, which Section authorizes the President, according to petitioner,
to increase, reduce or remove tariff duties or to impose additional duties only when
necessary to protect local industries or products but not for the purpose of raising additional
On 27 November 1990, the President issued Executive Order No. 438 which imposed, in
revenue for the government.
addition to any other duties, taxes and charges imposed by law on all articles imported into
the Philippines, an additional duty of five percent (5%) ad valorem. This additional duty was
imposed across the board on all imported articles, including crude oil and other oil products Thus, petitioner questions first the constitutionality and second the legality of Executive
imported into the Philippines. This additional duty was subsequently increased from five Orders Nos. 475 and 478, and asks us to restrain the implementation of those Executive
percent (5%) ad valorem to nine percent (9%) ad valorem by the promulgation of Executive Orders. We will examine these questions in that order.
Order No. 443, dated 3 January 1991.
Before doing so, however, the Court notes that the recent promulgation of Executive Order
On 24 July 1991, the Department of Finance requested the Tariff Commission to initiate the No. 507 did not render the instant Petition moot and academic. Executive Order No. 517
process required by the Tariff and Customs Code for the imposition of a specific levy on which is dated 30 April 1992 provides as follows:
crude oil and other petroleum products, covered by HS Heading Nos. 27.09, 27.10 and 27.11
of Section 104 of the Tariff and Customs Code as amended. Accordingly, the Tariff Sec. 1. Lifting of the Additional Duty. The additional duty in the nature
Commission, following the procedure set forth in Section 401 of the Tariff and Customs Code, of ad valorem imposed on all imported articles prescribed by the
scheduled a public hearing to give interested parties an opportunity to be heard and to provisions of Executive Order No. 443, as amended, is
present evidence in support of their respective positions. hereby lifted; Provided, however, that the selected articles covered by HS
Heading Nos. 27.09 and 27.10 of Section 104 of the Tariff and Customs
Meantime, Executive Order No. 475 was issued by the President, on 15 August 1991 reducing Code, as amended, subject of Annex "A" hereof, shall continue to be
the rate of additional duty on all imported articles from nine percent (9%) to five percent subject to the additional duty of nine (9%) percent ad valorem.
(5%) ad valorem, except in the cases of crude oil and other oil products which continued to
be subject to the additional duty of nine percent (9%) ad valorem. Under the above quoted provision, crude oil and other oil products continue to be
subject to the additional duty of nine percent (9%) ad valorem under Executive
Upon completion of the public hearings, the Tariff Commission submitted to the President a Order No. 475 and to the special duty of P0.95 per liter of imported crude oil and
"Report on Special Duty on Crude Oil and Oil Products" dated 16 August 1991, for P1.00 per liter of imported oil products under Executive Order No. 478.
consideration and appropriate action. Seven (7) days later, the President issued Executive
Order No. 478, dated 23 August 1991, which levied (in addition to the aforementioned Turning first to the question of constitutionality, under Section 24, Article VI of the
additional duty of nine percent (9%) ad valorem and all other existing ad valorem duties) Constitution, the enactment of appropriation, revenue and tariff bills, like all other bills is, of
a special duty of P0.95 per liter or P151.05 per barrel of imported crude oil and P1.00 per liter course, within the province of the Legislative rather than the Executive Department. It does
of imported oil products. not follow, however, that therefore Executive Orders Nos. 475 and 478, assuming they may
be characterized as revenue measures, are prohibited to the President, that they must be
In the present Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus, petitioner assails the enacted instead by the Congress of the Philippines. Section 28(2) of Article VI of the
validity of Executive Orders Nos. 475 and 478. He argues that Executive Orders Nos. 475 and Constitution provides as follows:
478 are violative of Section 24, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution which provides as follows:
(2) The Congress may, by law, authorize the President to fix within
specified limits, and subject to such limitations and restrictions as it may
impose, tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonage and wharfage one hundred (100) per cent ad valorem; (2) to establish import quota or
dues, and other duties or imposts within the framework of the national to ban imports of any commodity, as may be necessary; and (3) to impose
development program of the Government. (Emphasis supplied) an additional duty on all imports not exceeding ten (10) per cent ad
valorem, whenever necessary; Provided, That upon periodic
There is thus explicit constitutional permission 1 to Congress to authorize the President investigations by the Tariff Commission and recommendation of the
"subject to such limitations and restrictions is [Congress] may impose" to fix "within specific NEDA, the President may cause a gradual reduction of protection levels
limits" "tariff rates . . . and other duties or imposts . . ." granted in Section One hundred and four of this Code, including those
subsequently granted pursuant to this section.
The relevant congressional statute is the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, and
Sections 104 and 401, the pertinent provisions thereof. These are the provisions which the b. Before any recommendation is submitted to the President by the
President explicitly invoked in promulgating Executive Orders Nos. 475 and 478. Section 104 NEDA pursuant to the provisions of this section, except in the imposition
of the Tariff and Customs Code provides in relevant part: of an additional duty not exceeding ten (10) per cent ad valorem, the
Commission shall conduct an investigation in the course of which they
shall hold public hearings wherein interested parties shall be afforded
Sec. 104. All tariff sections, chapters, headings and subheadings and the
reasonable opportunity to be present, produce evidence and to be heard.
rates of import duty under Section 104 of Presidential Decree No. 34 and
The Commission shall also hear the views and recommendations of any
all subsequent amendments issued under Executive Orders and
government office, agency or instrumentality concerned. The
Presidential Decrees are hereby adopted and form part of this Code.
Commission shall submit their findings and recommendations to the
NEDA within thirty (30) days after the termination of the public hearings.
There shall be levied, collected, and paid upon all imported articles the
rates of duty indicated in the Section under this section except as
c. The power of the President to increase or decrease rates of import
otherwise specifically provided for in this Code: Provided, that, the
duty within the limits fixed in subsection "a" shall include the authority to
maximum rate shall not exceed one hundred per cent ad valorem.
modify the form of duty. In modifying the form of duty, the
corresponding ad valorem or specific equivalents of the duty with respect
The rates of duty herein provided or subsequently fixed pursuant to to imports from the principal competing foreign country for the most
Section Four Hundred One of this Code shall be subject to periodic recent representative period shall be used as bases.
investigation by the Tariff Commission and may be revised by the
President upon recommendation of the National Economic and
d. The Commissioner of Customs shall regularly furnish the Commission a
Development Authority.
copy of all customs import entries as filed in the Bureau of Customs. The
Commission or its duly authorized representatives shall have access to,
xxx xxx xxx and the right to copy all liquidated customs import entries and other
documents appended thereto as finally filed in the Commission on Audit.
(Emphasis supplied)
e. The NEDA shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to carry
Section 401 of the same Code needs to be quoted in full: out the provisions of this section.

Sec. 401. Flexible Clause. f. Any Order issued by the President pursuant to the provisions of this
section shall take effect thirty (30) days after promulgation, except in the
a. In the interest of national economy, general welfare and/or national imposition of additional duty not exceeding ten (10) per cent ad
security, and subject to the limitations herein prescribed, the President, valorem which shall take effect at the discretion of the President.
upon recommendation of the National Economic and Development (Emphasis supplied)
Authority (hereinafter referred to as NEDA), is hereby empowered: (1) to
increase, reduce or remove existing protective rates of import Petitioner, however, seeks to avoid the thrust of the delegated authorizations found in
duty (including any necessary change in classification). The existing rates Sections 104 and 401 of the Tariff and Customs Code, by contending that the President is
may be increased or decreased but in no case shall the reduced rate of authorized to act under the Tariff and Customs Code only "to protect local industries and
import duty be lower than the basic rate of ten (10) per cent ad valorem, products for the sake of the national economy, general welfare and/or national
nor shall the increased rate of import duty be higher than a maximum of security." 2 He goes on to claim that:
E.O. Nos. 478 and 475 having nothing to do whatsoever with the In the fourth place, petitioner's concept which he urges us to build into our constitutional
protection of local industries and products for the sake of national and customs law, is a stiflingly narrow one. Section 401 of the Tariff and Customs Code
economy, general welfare and/or national security. On the contrary, they establishes general standards with which the exercise of the authority delegated by that
work in reverse, especially as to crude oil, an essential product which we provision to the President must be consistent: that authority must be exercised in "the
do not have to protect, since we produce only minimal quantities and interest of national economy, general welfare and/or national security." Petitioner, however,
have to import the rest of what we need. insists that the "protection of local industries" is the onlypermissible objective that can be
secured by the exercise of that delegated authority, and that therefore "protection of local
These Executive Orders are avowedly solely to enable the government to industries" is the sum total or the alpha and the omega of "the national economy, general
raise government finances, contrary to Sections 24 and 28 (2) of Article VI welfare and/or national security." We find it extremely difficult to take seriously such a
of the Constitution, as well as to Section 401 of the Tariff and Customs confined and closed view of the legislative standards and policies summed up in Section 401.
Code. 3 (Emphasis in the original) We believe, for instance, that the protection of consumers, who after all constitute the very
great bulk of our population, is at the very least as important a dimension of "the national
economy, general welfare and national security" as the protection of local industries. And so
The Court is not persuaded. In the first place, there is nothing in the language of either
customs duties may be reduced or even removed precisely for the purpose of protecting
Section 104 or of 401 of the Tariff and Customs Code that suggest such a sharp and absolute
consumers from the high prices and shoddy quality and inefficient service that tariff-
limitation of authority. The entire contention of petitioner is anchored on just two (2) words,
protected and subsidized local manufacturers may otherwise impose upon the community.
one found in Section 401 (a)(1): "existing protective rates of import duty," and the second in
It seems also important to note that tariff rates are commonly established and the
the proviso found at the end of Section 401 (a): "protection levels granted in Section 104 of
corresponding customs duties levied and collected upon articles and goods which are not
this Code . . . . " We believe that the words "protective" and ''protection" are simply not
found at all and not produced in the Philippines. The Tariff and Customs Code is replete with
enough to support the very broad and encompassing limitation which petitioner seeks to rest
such articles and commodities: among the more interesting examples are ivory (Chapter 5,
on those two (2) words.
5.10); castoreum or musk taken from the beaver (Chapter 5, 5.14); Olives (Chapter 7,
In the second place, petitioner's singular theory collides with a very practical fact of which
Notes); truffles or European fungi growing under the soil on tree roots (Chapter 7,
this Court may take judicial notice that the Bureau of Customs which administers the Tariff
Notes); dates (Chapter 8, 8.01); figs (Chapter 8, 8.03); caviar (Chapter 16,
and Customs Code, is one of the two (2) principal traditional generators or producers of
16.01); aircraft (Chapter 88, 88.0l); special diagnostic instruments and apparatus for human
governmental revenue, the other being the Bureau of Internal Revenue. (There is a third
medicine and surgery (Chapter 90, Notes); X-ray generators; X-ray tubes;
agency, non-traditional in character, that generates lower but still comparable levels of
X-ray screens, etc. (Chapter 90, 90.20); etc. In such cases, customs duties may be seen to be
revenue for the government The Philippine Amusement and Games Corporation
imposed either for revenue purposes purely or perhaps, in certain cases, to discourage any
[PAGCOR].)
importation of the items involved. In either case, it is clear that customs duties are levied and
In the third place, customs duties which are assessed at the prescribed tariff rates are very
imposed entirely apart from whether or not there are any competing local industries to
much like taxes which are frequently imposed for both revenue-raising and for regulatory
protect.
purposes. 4 Thus, it has been held that "customs duties" is "the name given to taxes on the
Accordingly, we believe and so hold that Executive Orders Nos. 475 and 478 which may be
importation and exportation of commodities, the tariff or tax assessed upon merchandise
conceded to be substantially moved by the desire to generate additional public revenues, are
imported from, or exported to, a foreign country." 5 The levying of customs duties on
not, for that reason alone, either constitutionally flawed, or legally infirm under Section 401
imported goods may have in some measure the effect of protecting local industries where
of the Tariff and Customs Code. Petitioner has not successfully overcome the presumptions
such local industries actually exist and are producing comparable goods. Simultaneously,
of constitutionality and legality to which those Executive Orders are entitled. 7
however, the very same customs duties inevitably have the effect of producing governmental
The conclusion we have reached above renders it unnecessary to deal with petitioner's
revenues. Customs duties like internal revenue taxes are rarely, if ever, designed to achieve
additional contention that, should Executive Orders Nos. 475 and 478 be declared
one policy objective only. Most commonly, customs duties, which constitute taxes in the
unconstitutional and illegal, there should be a roll back of prices of petroleum products
sense of exactions the proceeds of which become public funds 6 have either or both the
equivalent to the "resulting excess money not be needed to adequately maintain the Oil
generation of revenue and the regulation of economic or social activity as their moving
Price Stabilization Fund (OPSF)." 8
purposes and frequently, it is very difficult to say which, in a particular instance, is the
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus is
dominant or principal objective. In the instant case, since the Philippines in fact produces ten
hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. Costs against petitioner.
(10) to fifteen percent (15%) of the crude oil consumed here, the imposition of increased
SO ORDERED.
tariff rates and a special duty on imported crude oil and imported oil products may be seen
to have some "protective" impact upon indigenous oil production. For the effective, price of
imported crude oil and oil products is increased. At the same time, it cannot be gainsaid that
substantial revenues for the government are raised by the imposition of such increased tariff
rates or special duty.
EMILIO GANCAYCO, G.R. No. 177807
Petitioner, x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x
- versus -

CITY GOVERNMENT OF QUEZON CITY AND DECISION


METRO MANILADEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY,
Respondents.
SERENO, J.:
x-----------------------------------------------x
Before us are consolidated Petitions for Review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court
METRO MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY,
Petitioner, assailing the Decision[1] promulgated on 18 July 2006 and the Resolution[2] dated 10 May
G.R. No. 177933
2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 84648.
Present: The Facts

CORONA, C.J.,
-versus- CARPIO, In the early 1950s, retired Justice Emilio A. Gancayco bought a parcel of land
VELASCO, JR., located at 746 Epifanio delos Santos Avenue(EDSA),[3] Quezon City with an area of 375 square
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO,
BRION, meters and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. RT114558.
PERALTA,
BERSAMIN,* On 27 March 1956, the Quezon City Council issued Ordinance No. 2904, entitled An
DEL CASTILLO,**
JUSTICE EMILIO A. GANCAYCO (Retired), ABAD, Ordinance Requiring the Construction of Arcades, for Commercial Buildings to be
Respondent, VILLARAMA, JR., Constructed in Zones Designated as Business Zones in the Zoning Plan of Quezon City, and
PEREZ,*
x-----------------------------------------x MENDOZA, Providing Penalties in Violation Thereof.[4]
SERENO,
REYES, and An arcade is defined as any portion of a building above the first floor projecting
PERLAS-BERNABE, JJ.
over the sidewalk beyond the first storey wall used as protection for pedestrians against rain
Promulgated: or sun.[5]

October 11, 2011


Ordinance No. 2904 required the relevant property owner to construct an arcade
with a width of 4.50 meters and height of 5.00 meters along EDSA, from the north side
of Santolan Road to one lot after Liberty Avenue, and from one lot before Central
Boulevard to the Botocan transmission line.

At the outset, it bears emphasis that at the time Ordinance No. 2904 was passed by
the city council, there was yet no building code passed by the national legislature. Thus, the
regulation of the construction of buildings was left to the discretion of local government
units. Under this particular ordinance, the city council required that the arcade is to be
created by constructing the wall of the ground floor facing the sidewalk a few meters away
from the property line. Thus, the building owner is not allowed to construct his wall up to the Justice Gancayco did not comply with the notice. Soon after the lapse of the fifteen
edge of the property line, thereby creating a space or shelter under the first floor. In effect, (15) days, the MMDA proceeded to demolish the party wall, or what was referred to as the
property owners relinquish the use of the space for use as an arcade for pedestrians, instead wing walls, of the ground floor structure. The records of the present case are not entirely
of using it for their own purposes. clear on the extent of the demolition; nevertheless, the fact of demolition was not disputed.
At the time of the demolition, the affected portion of the building was being used as a
The ordinance was amended several times. On 8 August 1960, properties located at
restaurant.
the Quezon City-San Juan boundary were exempted by Ordinance No. 60-4477 from the
construction of arcades. This ordinance was further amended by Ordinance No. 60-4513, On 29 May 2003, Justice Gancayco filed a Petition[11] with prayer for a temporary
extending the exemption to commercial buildings from Balete Street to Seattle Street. restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction before the Regional Trial Court (RTC)
Ordinance No. 6603 dated 1 March 1966 meanwhile reduced the width of the arcades to of Quezon City, docketed as Civil Case No. Q03-49693, seeking to prohibit the MMDA and the
three meters for buildings along V. Luna Road, Central District, Quezon City. City Government of Quezon City from demolishing his property. In his Petition, [12] he alleged
that the ordinance authorized the taking of private property without due process of law and
The ordinance covered the property of Justice Gancayco. Subsequently, sometime
just compensation, because the construction of an arcade will require 67.5 square meters
in 1965, Justice Gancayco sought the exemption of a two-storey building being constructed from the 375 square meter property. In addition, he claimed that the ordinance was selective
on his property from the application of Ordinance No. 2904 that he be exempted from
and discriminatory in its scope and application when it allowed the owners of the buildings
constructing an arcade on his property. located in the Quezon City-San Juan boundary to Cubao Rotonda, and Balete to Seattle
Streets to construct arcades at their option. He thus sought the declaration of nullity of
On 2 February 1966, the City Council acted favorably on Justice Gancaycos request
Ordinance No. 2904 and the payment of damages. Alternately, he prayed for the payment of
and issued Resolution No. 7161, S-66, subject to the condition that upon notice by the City
just compensation should the court hold the ordinance valid.
Engineer, the owner shall, within reasonable time, demolish the enclosure of said arcade at
his own expense when public interest so demands.[6] The City Government of Quezon City claimed that the ordinance was a valid
exercise of police power, regulating the use of property in a business zone. In addition, it
Decades after, in March 2003, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority
pointed out that Justice Gancayco was already barred by estoppel, laches and prescription.
(MMDA) conducted operations to clear obstructions along the sidewalk of EDSA in Quezon
City pursuant to Metro Manila Councils (MMC) Resolution No. 02-28, Series of 2002.[7] The
Similarly, the MMDA alleged that Justice Gancayco could not seek the nullification
resolution authorized the MMDA and local government units to clear the sidewalks, streets, of an ordinance that he had already violated, and that the ordinance enjoyed the
avenues, alleys, bridges, parks and other public places in Metro Manila of all illegal structures
presumption of constitutionality. It further stated that the questioned property was a public
and obstructions.[8] nuisance impeding the safe passage of pedestrians. Finally, the MMDA claimed that it was
merely implementing the legal easement established by Ordinance No. 2904.[13]
On 28 April 2003, the MMDA sent a notice of demolition to Justice Gancayco
alleging that a portion of his building violated the National Building Code of The RTC rendered its Decision on 30 September 2003 in favor of Justice
the Philippines (Building Code)[9] in relation to Ordinance No. 2904. The MMDA gave Justice
Gancayco.[14] It held that the questioned ordinance was unconstitutional, ruling that it
Gancayco fifteen (15) days to clear the portion of the building that was supposed to be an allowed the taking of private property for public use without just compensation. The RTC said
arcade along EDSA.[10]
that because 67.5 square meters out of Justice Gancaycos 375 square meters of property sidewalks, streets, avenues, alleys, bridges, parks and other public places in Metro Manila,
were being taken without compensation for the publics benefit, the ordinance was thus excluding Justice Gancaycos private property. Lastly, the CA stated that the MMDA is
confiscatory and oppressive. It likewise held that the ordinance violated owners right to not clothed with the authority to declare, prevent or abate nuisances. Thus, the dispositive
equal protection of laws. The dispositive portion thus states: portion stated:

WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby granted and the Court WHEREFORE, the appeals are PARTLY GRANTED.
hereby declares Quezon City Ordinance No. 2094,[15] Series of 1956 to be The Decision dated September 30, 2003 of the Regional Trial Court,
unconstitutional, invalid and void ab initio. The respondents are hereby Branch 224, Quezon City, is MODIFIED, as follows:
permanently enjoined from enforcing and implementing the said 1) The validity and constitutionality of Ordinance No. 2094,[18] Series of
ordinance, and the respondent MMDA is hereby directed to immediately 1956, issued by the City Council of Quezon City, is UPHELD; and
restore the portion of the party wall or wing wall of the building of the 2) The injunction against the enforcement and implementation of the said
petitioner it destroyed to its original condition. Ordinance is LIFTED.
SO ORDERED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.

The MMDA thereafter appealed from the Decision of the trial court. On 18 July This ruling prompted the MMDA and Justice Gancayco to file their respective
2006, the Court of Appeals (CA) partly granted the appeal. [16] The CA upheld the validity of Motions for Partial Reconsideration.[19]
Ordinance No. 2904 and lifted the injunction against the enforcement and implementation of
the ordinance. In so doing, it held that the ordinance was a valid exercise of the right of the On 10 May 2007, the CA denied the motions stating that the parties did not
present new issues nor offer grounds that would merit the reconsideration of the Court.[20]
local government unit to promote the general welfare of its constituents pursuant to its
police powers. The CA also ruled that the ordinance established a valid classification of
Dissatisfied with the ruling of the CA, Justice Gancayco and the MMDA filed their
property owners with regard to the construction of arcades in their respective properties
respective Petitions for Review before this Court. The issues raised by the parties are
depending on the location. The CA further stated that there was no taking of private
summarized as follows:
property, since the owner still enjoyed the beneficial ownership of the property, to wit:
I. WHETHER OR NOT JUSTICE GANCAYCO WAS ESTOPPED FROM
Even with the requirement of the construction of arcaded
ASSAILING THE VALIDITY OF ORDINANCE NO. 2904.
sidewalks within his commercial lot, appellee still retains the beneficial
ownership of the said property. Thus, there is no taking for public use II. WHETHER OR NOT ORDINANCE NO. 2904 IS CONSTITUTIONAL.
which must be subject to just compensation. While the arcaded sidewalks III. WHETHER OR NOT THE WING WALL OF JUSTICE GANCAYCOS BUILDING IS
contribute to the public good, for providing safety and comfort to A PUBLIC NUISANCE.
passersby, the ultimate benefit from the same still redounds to appellee, IV. WHETHER OR NOT THE MMDA LEGALLY DEMOLISHED THE PROPERTY OF
his commercial establishment being at the forefront of a busy JUSTICE GANCAYCO.
thoroughfare like EDSA. The arcaded sidewalks, by their nature, assure
clients of the commercial establishments thereat some kind of protection
from accidents and other hazards. Without doubt, this sense of The Courts Ruling
protection can be a boon to the business activity therein engaged. [17] Estoppel

Nevertheless, the CA held that the MMDA went beyond its powers when it The MMDA and the City Government of Quezon City both claim that Justice Gancayco was
demolished the subject property. It further found that Resolution No. 02-28 only refers to estopped from challenging the ordinance, because, in 1965, he asked for an exemption from
presented before it in bona fide cases for determination, and the fact
the application of the ordinance. According to them, Justice Gancayco thereby recognized
that the question has not been raised before is not a valid reason for
the power of the city government to regulate the construction of buildings. refusing to allow it to be raised later. (Emphasis supplied.)

To recall, Justice Gancayco questioned the constitutionality of the ordinance on


Anent the second ground, we find that Justice Gancayco may not question the
two grounds: (1) whether the ordinance takes private property without due process of law
ordinance on the ground of equal protection when he also benefited from the exemption. It
and just compensation; and (2) whether the ordinance violates the equal protection of rights
bears emphasis that Justice Gancayco himself requested for an exemption from the
because it allowed exemptions from its application.
application of the ordinance in 1965 and was eventually granted one. Moreover, he was still

On the first ground, we find that Justice Gancayco may still question the enjoying the exemption at the time of the demolition as there was yet no valid notice from

constitutionality of the ordinance to determine whether or not the ordinance constitutes a the city engineer. Thus, while the ordinance may be attacked with regard to its different

taking of private property without due process of law and just compensation. It was only in treatment of properties that appears to be similarly situated, Justice Gancayco is not the

2003 when he was allegedly deprived of his property when the MMDA demolished a portion proper person to do so.

of the building. Because he was granted an exemption in 1966, there was no taking yet to Zoning and the regulation of the
speak of. construction of buildings are valid
exercises of police power .

Moreover, in Acebedo Optical Company, Inc. v. Court of Appeals,[21] we held:


In MMDA v. Bel-Air Village Association,[23] we discussed the nature of police powers
It is therefore decisively clear that estoppel cannot apply in this exercised by local government units, to wit:
case. The fact that petitioner acquiesced in the special conditions
imposed by the City Mayor in subject business permit does not preclude Police power is an inherent attribute of sovereignty. It has been
it from challenging the said imposition, which is ultra vires or beyond the defined as the power vested by the Constitution in the legislature to
ambit of authority of respondent City Mayor. Ultra vires acts or acts make, ordain, and establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable
which are clearly beyond the scope of one's authority are null and void laws, statutes and ordinances, either with penalties or without, not
and cannot be given any effect. The doctrine of estoppel cannot operate repugnant to the Constitution, as they shall judge to be for the good and
to give effect to an act which is otherwise null and void or ultra vires. welfare of the commonwealth, and for the subjects of the same. The
(Emphasis supplied.) power is plenary and its scope is vast and pervasive, reaching and
justifying measures for public health, public safety, public morals, and the
Recently, in British American Tobacco v. Camacho,[22] we likewise held: general welfare.

We find that petitioner was not guilty of estoppel. When it It bears stressing that police power is lodged primarily in the
made the undertaking to comply with all issuances of the BIR, which at National Legislature. It cannot be exercised by any group or body of
that time it considered as valid, petitioner did not commit any false individuals not possessing legislative power. The National Legislature,
misrepresentation or misleading act. Indeed, petitioner cannot be faulted however, may delegate this power to the President and administrative
for initially undertaking to comply with, and subjecting itself to the boards as well as the lawmaking bodies of municipal corporations or local
operation of Section 145(C), and only later on filing the subject case government units. Once delegated, the agents can exercise only such
praying for the declaration of its unconstitutionality when the legislative powers as are conferred on them by the national lawmaking
circumstances change and the law results in what it perceives to be body.
unlawful discrimination. The mere fact that a law has been relied upon
in the past and all that time has not been attacked as unconstitutional
is not a ground for considering petitioner estopped from assailing its
validity. For courts will pass upon a constitutional question only when
protect public health, morals, safety or welfare must have a reasonable
To resolve the issue on the constitutionality of the ordinance, we must first
relation to the end in view.
determine whether there was a valid delegation of police power. Then we can determine The means adopted by the Sanggunian was the enactment of a
zoning ordinance which reclassified the area where the depot is situated
whether the City Government of Quezon City acted within the limits of the delegation.
from industrial to commercial. A zoning ordinance is defined as a local
city or municipal legislation which logically arranges, prescribes, defines
It is clear that Congress expressly granted the city government, through the city and apportions a given political subdivision into specific land uses as
present and future projection of needs. As a result of the zoning, the
council, police power by virtue of Section 12(oo) of Republic Act No. 537, or the Revised continued operation of the businesses of the oil companies in their
Charter of Quezon City,[24] which states: present location will no longer be permitted. The power to establish
zones for industrial, commercial and residential uses is derived from the
To make such further ordinances and regulations not repugnant police power itself and is exercised for the protection and benefit of the
to law as may be necessary to carry into effect and discharge the powers residents of a locality. Consequently, the enactment of Ordinance No.
and duties conferred by this Act and such as it shall deem necessary and 8027 is within the power of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of the City
proper to provide for the health and safety, promote the prosperity, of Manila and any resulting burden on those affected cannot be said to
improve the morals, peace, good order, comfort, and convenience of the be unjust... (Emphasis supplied)
city and the inhabitants thereof, and for the protection of property
therein; and enforce obedience thereto with such lawful fines or
penalties as the City Council may prescribe under the provisions of
subsection (jj) of this section. In Carlos Superdrug v. Department of Social Welfare and Development, [27] we also

held:
For this reason, when the conditions so demand as determined
Specifically, on the powers of the city government to regulate the construction of by the legislature, property rights must bow to the primacy of police
buildings, the Charter also expressly provided that the city government had the power to power because property rights, though sheltered by due process, must
yield to general welfare.
regulate the kinds of buildings and structures that may be erected within fire limits and the Police power as an attribute to promote the common good
manner of constructing and repairing them.[25] would be diluted considerably if on the mere plea of petitioners that
they will suffer loss of earnings and capital, the questioned provision is
invalidated. Moreover, in the absence of evidence demonstrating the
With regard meanwhile to the power of the local government units to issue zoning alleged confiscatory effect of the provision in question, there is no basis
ordinances, we apply Social Justice Society v. Atienza.[26] In that case, the Sangguniang for its nullification in view of the presumption of validity which every
law has in its favor. (Emphasis supplied.)
Panlungsod of Manila City enacted an ordinance on 28 November 2001 reclassifying certain
areas of the city from industrial to commercial. As a result of the zoning ordinance, the oil
terminals located in those areas were no longer allowed. Though the oil companies In the case at bar, it is clear that the primary objectives of the city council of

contended that they stood to lose billions of pesos, this Court upheld the power of the city Quezon City when it issued the questioned ordinance ordering the construction of arcades

government to pass the assailed ordinance, stating: were the health and safety of the city and its inhabitants; the promotion of their prosperity;
and the improvement of their morals, peace, good order, comfort, and the convenience.
In the exercise of police power, property rights of individuals
may be subjected to restraints and burdens in order to fulfil the These arcades provide safe and convenient passage along the sidewalk for commuters and
objectives of the government. Otherwise stated, the government may pedestrians, not just the residents of Quezon City. More especially so because the contested
enact legislation that may interfere with personal liberty, property,
lawful businesses and occupations to promote the general portion of the building is located on a busy segment of the city, in a business zone along
welfare. However, the interference must be reasonable and not EDSA.
arbitrary. And to forestall arbitrariness, the methods or means used to
Corollarily, the policy of the Building Code,[28] which was passed after the Quezon persons and property. The fact that an ordinance may declare a structure illegal does not
City Ordinance, supports the purpose for the enactment of Ordinance No. 2904. The Building necessarily make that structure a nuisance.
Code states:
Article 694 of the Civil Code defines nuisance as any act, omission, establishment,
Section 102. Declaration of Policy. It is hereby declared to be the policy of
business, condition or property, or anything else that (1) injures or endangers the health or
the State to safeguard life, health, property, and public welfare,
consistent with the principles of sound environmental management and safety of others; (2) annoys or offends the senses; (3) shocks, defies or disregards decency or
control; and to this end, make it the purpose of this Code to provide for
morality; (4) obstructs or interferes with the free passage of any public highway or street, or
all buildings and structures, a framework of minimum standards and
requirements to regulate and control their location, site, design quality of any body of water; or, (5) hinders or impairs the use of property. A nuisance may be per
materials, construction, occupancy, and maintenance.
se or per accidens. A nuisance per se is that which affects the immediate safety of persons
and property and may summarily be abated under the undefined law of necessity.[29]
Section 1004 likewise requires the construction of arcades whenever existing or
Clearly, when Justice Gancayco was given a permit to construct the building, the
zoning ordinances require it. Apparently, the law allows the local government units to
city council or the city engineer did not consider the building, or its demolished portion, to be
determine whether arcades are necessary within their respective jurisdictions.
a threat to the safety of persons and property. This fact alone should have warned the
Justice Gancayco argues that there is a three-meter sidewalk in front of his MMDA against summarily demolishing the structure.
property line, and the arcade should be constructed above that sidewalk rather than within
Neither does the MMDA have the power to declare a thing a nuisance. Only courts
his property line. We do not need to address this argument inasmuch as it raises the issue of
of law have the power to determine whether a thing is a nuisance. In AC Enterprises v.
the wisdom of the city ordinance, a matter we will not and need not delve into.
Frabelle Properties Corp.,[30] we held:
To reiterate, at the time that the ordinance was passed, there was no national
We agree with petitioner's contention that, under Section
building code enforced to guide the city council; thus, there was no law of national 447(a)(3)(i) of R.A. No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government
Code, the Sangguniang Panglungsod is empowered to enact ordinances
application that prohibited the city council from regulating the construction of buildings,
declaring, preventing or abating noise and other forms of nuisance. It
arcades and sidewalks in their jurisdiction. bears stressing, however, that the Sangguniang Bayan cannot declare a
particular thing as a nuisance per se and order its condemnation. It does
The wing walls of the building are not not have the power to find, as a fact, that a particular thing is a
nuisances per se. nuisance when such thing is not a nuisance per se; nor can it authorize
the extrajudicial condemnation and destruction of that as a nuisance
which in its nature, situation or use is not such. Those things must be
The MMDA claims that the portion of the building in question is a nuisance per se. determined and resolved in the ordinary courts of law. If a thing be in
fact, a nuisance due to the manner of its operation, that question cannot
We disagree. be determined by a mere resolution of the Sangguniang Bayan.
(Emphasis supplied.)

The fact that in 1966 the City Council gave Justice Gancayco an exemption from
constructing an arcade is an indication that the wing walls of the building are not
nuisances per se. The wing walls do not per se immediately and adversely affect the safety of
MMDA illegally demolished of the occupancy or use of any building or structure or portion thereof
the property of Justice Gancayco. found to be occupied or used contrary to the provisions of this Code.

xxx xxx xxx


MMDA alleges that by virtue of MMDA Resolution No. 02-28, Series of 2002, it is
empowered to demolish Justice Gancaycos property. It insists that the Metro Manila Council SECTION 215. Abatement of Dangerous Buildings. When any building
or structure is found or declared to be dangerous or ruinous, the
authorized the MMDA and the local government units to clear the sidewalks, streets,
Building Official shall order its repair, vacation or demolition
avenues, alleys, bridges, parks and other public places in Metro Manila of all illegal structures depending upon the degree of danger to life, health, or safety. This is
without prejudice to further action that may be taken under the
and obstructions. It further alleges that it demolished the property pursuant to the Building
provisions of Articles 482 and 694 to 707 of the Civil Code of
Code in relation to Ordinance No. 2904 as amended. the Philippines. (Emphasis supplied.)

However, the Building Code clearly provides the process by which a building may
MMDA v. Trackworks Rail Transit Advertising, Vending and Promotions, Inc. [31] is
be demolished. The authority to order the demolition of any structure lies with the Building
applicable to the case at bar. In that case, MMDA, invoking its charter and the Building Code,
Official. The pertinent provisions of the Building Code provide:
summarily dismantled the advertising media installed on the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3. This
SECTION 205. Building Officials. Except as otherwise provided herein, the Court held:
Building Official shall be responsible for carrying out the provisions of this It is futile for MMDA to simply invoke its legal mandate to
Code in the field as well as the enforcement of orders and decisions justify the dismantling of Trackworks' billboards, signages and other
made pursuant thereto. advertising media. MMDA simply had no power on its own to dismantle,
remove, or destroy the billboards, signages and other advertising media
Due to the exigencies of the service, the Secretary may designate installed on the MRT3 structure by Trackworks. In Metropolitan Manila
incumbent Public Works District Engineers, City Engineers and Municipal Development Authority v. Bel-Air Village Association, Inc., Metropolitan
Engineers act as Building Officials in their respective areas of jurisdiction. Manila Development Authority v. Viron Transportation Co., Inc.,
The designation made by the Secretary under this Section shall continue and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority v. Garin, the Court had
until regular positions of Building Official are provided or unless sooner the occasion to rule that MMDA's powers were limited to the
terminated for causes provided by law or decree. formulation, coordination, regulation, implementation, preparation,
management, monitoring, setting of policies, installing a system, and
xxx xxx xxx administration. Nothing in Republic Act No. 7924 granted MMDA police
power, let alone legislative power.
SECTION 207. Duties of a Building Official. In his respective territorial
jurisdiction, the Building Official shall be primarily responsible for the
enforcement of the provisions of this Code as well as of the implementing Clarifying the real nature of MMDA, the Court held:
rules and regulations issued therefor. He is the official charged with the
duties of issuing building permits. ...The MMDA is, as termed in the charter itself, a
"development authority". It is an agency created for the purpose of
In the performance of his duties, a Building Official may enter any laying down policies and coordinating with the various national
building or its premises at all reasonable times to inspect and determine government agencies, people's organizations, non-governmental
compliance with the requirements of this Code, and the terms and organizations and the private sector for the efficient and expeditious
conditions provided for in the building permit as issued. delivery of basic services in the vast metropolitan area. All its functions
are administrative in nature and these are actually summed up in the
When any building work is found to be contrary to the provisions of this charter itself, viz:
Code, the Building Official may order the work stopped and prescribe
the terms and/or conditions when the work will be allowed to resume.
Likewise, the Building Official is authorized to order the discontinuance Sec.2. Creation of the Metropolitan Manila Development
Authority.- xxx.
The MMDA shall perform planning, monitoring and
partnership, or any juridical entity, the Manager, managing partner, or any person charged
coordinative functions, and in the process exercise regulatory
and supervisory authority over the delivery of metro-wide with the management thereof shall be held responsible therefor. The ordinance itself also
services within Metro Manila, without diminution of the
clearly states that it is the regular courts that will determine whether there was a violation of
autonomy of local government units concerning purely local
matters. the ordinance.

The Court also agrees with the CA's ruling that MMDA
Regulation No. 96-009 and MMC Memorandum Circular No. 88-09 did As pointed out in Trackworks, the MMDA does not have the power to enact
not apply to Trackworks' billboards, signages and other advertising ordinances. Thus, it cannot supplement the provisions of Quezon City Ordinance No. 2904
media. The prohibition against posting, installation and display of
billboards, signages and other advertising media applied only to public merely through its Resolution No. 02-28.
areas, but MRT3, being private property pursuant to the BLT agreement
between the Government and MRTC, was not one of the areas as to Lastly, the MMDA claims that the City Government of Quezon City may be
which the prohibition applied. Moreover, MMC Memorandum Circular
No. 88-09 did not apply to Trackworks' billboards, signages and other considered to have approved the demolition of the structure, simply because then Quezon
advertising media in MRT3, because it did not specifically cover MRT3, City Mayor Feliciano R. Belmonte signed MMDA Resolution No. 02-28. In effect, the city
and because it was issued a year prior to the construction of MRT3 on the
center island of EDSA. Clearly, MMC Memorandum Circular No. 88-09 government delegated these powers to the MMDA. The powers referred to are those that
could not have included MRT3 in its prohibition. include the power to declare, prevent and abate a nuisance[32] and to further impose the

MMDA's insistence that it was only implementing Presidential penalty of removal or demolition of the building or structure by the owner or by the city at
Decree No. 1096 (Building Code) and its implementing rules and the expense of the owner.[33]
regulations is not persuasive. The power to enforce the provisions of
the Building Code was lodged in the Department of Public Works and
Highways (DPWH), not in MMDA, considering the law's following MMDAs argument does not hold water. There was no valid delegation of powers to
provision, thus: the MMDA. Contrary to the claim of the MMDA, the City Government of Quezon City washed

Sec. 201. Responsibility for Administration and Enforcement. - its hands off the acts of the former. In its Answer,[34] the city government stated that the
The administration and enforcement of the provisions of this demolition was undertaken by the MMDA only, without the participation and/or consent
Code including the imposition of penalties for administrative
violations thereof is hereby vested in the Secretary of Public of Quezon City. Therefore, the MMDA acted on its own and should be held solely liable for
Works, Transportation and Communications, hereinafter the destruction of the portion of Justice Gancaycos building.
referred to as the "Secretary."

There is also no evidence showing that MMDA had been WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-
delegated by DPWH to implement the Building Code. (Emphasis
G.R. SP No. 84648 is AFFIRMED.
supplied.)

SO ORDERED.
Additionally, the penalty prescribed by Ordinance No. 2904 itself does not include
the demolition of illegally constructed buildings in case of violations. Instead, it merely
prescribes a punishment of a fine of not more than two hundred pesos (P200.00) or by
imprisonment of not more than thirty (30) days, or by both such fine and imprisonment at
the discretion of the Court, Provided, that if the violation is committed by a corporation,
G.R. No. L-32096 October 24, 1970 writ of preliminary injunction held on May 27. 1970 where both parties were duly
represented, but no evidence was presented. The next day, on May 28, 1970, respondent
ROMEO F. EDU, in his capacity as Land Transportation Commissioner, petitioner, Judge ordered the issuance of a preliminary injunction directed against the enforcement of
vs. such administrative order. There was the day after, a motion for its reconsideration filed by
HON. VICENTE G. ERICTA in his capacity as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Rizal, Br. the Solicitor General representing petitioner. In the meanwhile, the clerk of court of
XVIII, Quezon City, and TEDDY C. GALO respondents. respondent Judge issued, on June 1, 1970 the writ of preliminary injunction upon the filing of
the required bond. The answer before the lower court was filed by petitioner Edu on June 4,
1970. Thereafter, on June 9, 1970, respondent Judge denied the motion for reconsideration
Office of the Solicitor General Felix Q. Antonio, Acting Assistant Solicitor General Hector C.
of the order of injunction. Hence this petition for certiorari and prohibition filed with this
Fule and Solicitor Vicente A. Torres for petitioner.
court on June 18, 1970.

Teddy C. Galo in his own behalf.


In a resolution of June 22, 1970, this Court required respondents to file an answer to the
petition for certiorari and prohibition. Respondent Judge, the Honorable Vicente G. Ericta,
Judge Vicente Ericta in his own behalf. did file his answer on June 30, 1970 explaining why he restrained the enforcement of
Administrative Order No. 2 and, as noted at the outset, joining the Solicitor General in
seeking that the legal questions raised namely the constitutionality of the Reflector Law and
secondly the validity of Administrative Order No. 2 alleged to be in excess of the authority
FERNANDO, J.:. conferred on petitioner and therefore violative of the principle of non-delegation of
legislative power be definitely decided. It was on until July 6, 1970 that respondent Galo filed
his answer seeking the dismissal of this petition concentrating on what he considered to be
Petitioner Romeo F. Edu, the Land Transportation Commissioner, would have us rule the patent invalidity of Administrative Order No. 2 as it went beyond the authority granted
squarely on the constitutionality of the Reflector Law1 in this proceeding for certiorari and by the Reflector Law, even assuming that it is constitutional. In the meanwhile, on July 2,
prohibition against respondent Judge, the Honorable Vicente G. Ericta of the Court of First 1970, the petition was called for hearing with Solicitor Vicente Torres appearing for
Instance of Rizal, Quezon City Branch, to annul and set aside his order for the issuance of a petitioner and respondent Galo for himself. It was made clear during the course of such
writ of preliminary injunction directed against Administrative Order No. 2 of petitioner for argumentation that the matter of the constitutionality of the Reflector Law was likewise
the enforcement of the aforesaid statute, in a pending suit in his court for certiorari and under consideration by this Court. The case is thus ripe for decision.
prohibition, filed by the other respondent Teddy C. Galo assailing; the validity of such
enactment as well as such administrative order. Respondent Judge, in his answer, would join
such a plea asking that the constitutional and legal questions raised be decided "once and for We repeat that we find for petitioner and sustain the Constitutionality of the Reflector Law
all." Respondent Teddy C. Galo who was quite categorical in his assertion that both the as well as the validity of Administrative Order No. 2.
challenged legislation and the administrative order transgress the constitutional
requirements of due process and non-delegation, is not averse either to such a definitive 1. The threshold question is whether on the basis of the petition, the answers, and the oral
ruling. Considering the great public interest involved and the reliance by respondent Galo argument, it would be proper for this Court to resolve the issue of the constitutionality of the
and the allegation that the repugnancy to the fundamental law could be discerned on the Reflector Law. Our answer, as indicated, is in the affirmative. It is to be noted that the main
face of the statute as enacted and the executive order as promulgated, this Court, sees no thrust of the petition before us is to demonstrate in a rather convincing fashion that the
obstacle to the determination in this proceeding of the constitutional questions raised. For challenged legislation does not suffer from the alleged constitutional infirmity imputed to it
reasons to be hereafter stated, we sustain the validity of the Reflector Law and by the respondent Galo. Since the special civil action for certiorari and prohibition filed
Administrative Order No. 2 issued in the implementation thereof, the imputation of before him before respondent Judge would seek a declaration of nullity of such enactment
constitutional infirmity being at best flimsy and insubstantial. by the attribution of the violation the face thereof of the due process guarantee in the
deprivation of property rights, it would follow that there is sufficient basis for us to
As noted in the answer of respondent Judge, respondent Galo on his behalf and that of other determine which view should prevail. Moreover, any further hearing by respondent Judge
motorist filed on May 20, 1970 a suit for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary would likewise to limited to a discussion of the constitutional issues raised, no allegations of
injunction assailing the validity of the challenged Act as an invalid exercise of the police facts having made. This is one case then where the question of validity is ripe for
power, for being violative of the due process clause. This he followed on May 28, 1970 with a determination. If we do so, further effort need not be wasted and time is saved moreover,
manifestation wherein he sought as an alternative remedy that, in the event that respondent the officials concerned as well as the public, both vitally concerned with a final resolution of
Judge would hold said statute constitutional, Administrative Order No. 2 of the Land questions of validity, could know the definitive answer and could act accordingly. There is a
Transportation Commissioner, now petitioner, implementing such legislation be nullified as great public interest, as was mentioned, to be served by the final disposition of such crucial
an undue exercise of legislative power. There was a hearing on the plea for the issuance of a issue, petitioner praying that respondent Galo be declared having no cause of action with
respondent Judge being accordingly directed to dismiss his suit.
There is another reinforcement to this avenue of approach. We have done so before in a with the well-being of the nation. What is critical or urgent changes with the
suit, Climaco v. Macadaeg, 2 involving the legality of a presidential directive. That was a time." 10 The police power is thus a dynamic agency, suitably vague and far from precisely
petition for the review and reversal of a writ of preliminary injunction issued by the then defined, rooted in the conception that men in organizing the state and imposing upon its
Judge Macadaeg. We there announced that we "have decided to pass upon the question of government limitations to safeguard constitutional rights did not intend thereby to enable an
the validity of the presidential directive ourselves, believing that by doing so we would be individual citizen or a group of citizens to obstruct unreasonably the enactment of such
putting an end to a dispute, a delay in the disposition of which has caused considerable salutary measures calculated to insure communal peace, safety, good order, and welfare.
damage and injury to the Government and to the tobacco planters themselves."
It would then be to overturn a host of decisions impressive for their number and unanimity
There is no principle of constitutional adjudication that bars this Court from similarly passing were this Court to sustain respondent Galo. 11 That we are not disposed to do, especially so
upon the question of the validity of a legislative enactment in a proceeding before it to test as the attack on the challenged statute ostensibly for disregarding the due process safeguard
the propriety of the issuance of a preliminary injunction. The same felt need for resolving is angularly unpersuasive. It would be to close one's eyes to the hazards of traffic in the
once and for all the vexing question as to the constitutionality of a challenged enactment and evening to condemn a statute of this character. Such an attitude betrays lack of concern for
thus serve public interest exists. What we have done in the case of an order proceeding from public safety. How can it plausibly alleged then that there was no observance of due process
one of the coordinate branches, the executive, we can very well do in the matter before us equated as it has always been with that is reasonable? The statute assailed is not infected
involving the alleged nullity of a legislative act. Accordingly, there is nothing to preclude the with arbitrariness. It is not the product of whim or caprice. It is far from oppressive. It is a
grant of the writs prayed for, the burden of showing the constitutionality of the act having legitimate response to a felt public need. It can stand the test of the most unsymphatetic
proved to be as will now be shown too much for respondent Galo. appraisal.

2. The Reflector Law reads in full: "(g) Lights and reflector when parked or disabled. Respondent Galo is of a different mind, having been unable to resist the teaching of many
Appropriate parking lights or flares visible one hundred meters away shall be displayed at a American State Court decisions referred to in the secondary source, American Jurisprudence
corner of the vehicle whenever such vehicle is parked on highways or in places that are not principally relied upon by him. He ought to have been cautioned against an indiscriminate
well-lighted or is placed in such manner as to endanger passing traffic. Furthermore, every acceptance of such doctrines predicated on what was once a fundamental postulate in
motor vehicle shall be provided at all times with built-in reflectors or other similar warning American public law, laissez faire.
devices either pasted, painted or attached to its front and back which shall likewise be visible
at light at least one hundred meters away. No vehicle not provided with any of the It is to be admitted that there was a period when such a concept did influence American
requirements mentioned in this subsection shall be registered."3 It is thus obvious that the court decisions on constitutional law. As was explicitly stated by Justice Cardozo speaking of
challenged statute is a legislation enacted under the police power to promote public safety. that era: "Laissez-faire was not only a counsel of caution which would do well to heed. It was
a categorical imperative which statesmen as well as judges must obey." 12 For a long time
Justice Laurel, in the first leading decision after the Constitution came to force, Calalang v. legislation tending to reduce economic inequality foundered on the rock that was the due
Williams,4 identified police power with state authority to enact legislation that may interfere process clause, enshrining as it did the liberty of contract, based on such a basic assumption.
with personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare. Persons and
property could thus "be subjected to all kinds of restraints and burdens in order to secure the The New Deal administration of President Roosevelt more responsive to the social and
general comfort, health and prosperity of the state." Shortly after independence in economic forces at work changed matters greatly. By 1937, there was a greater receptivity by
1948, Primicias v. Fugoso,5 reiterated the doctrine, such a competence being referred to as the American Supreme Court to an approach not too reverential of property rights. Even
"the power to prescribe regulations to promote the health, morals, peace, education, good earlier, in 1935, Professor Coker of Yale, speaking as a historian, could already discern a
order or safety, and general welfare of the people." The concept was set forth in negative contrary drift. He did note the expending range of governmental activity in the United
terms by Justice Malcolm in a pre-Commonwealth decision as "that inherent and plenary States. 13What is undeniable is that by 1943, laissez-faire was no longer the dominant theory.
power in the State which enables it to prohibit all things hurtful to the comfort, safety and In the language of Justice Jackson in the leading case of West Virginia State Board of
welfare of society."6 In that sense it could be hardly distinguishable as noted by this Court Education v. Barnette: 14 "We must, transplant these rights to a soil in which the laissez-
in Morfe v. Mutuc7 with the totality of legislative power. faire concept or non-interference has withered at least as to economic affairs, and social
advancements are increasingly sought through closer integration of society and through
It is in the above sense the greatest and most powerful attribute of government. It is to expanded and strengthened governmental controls."
quote Justice Malcolm anew "the most essential, insistent, and at least illimitable of
powers," 8 extending as Justice Holmes aptly pointed out "to all the great public needs." 9 Its While authoritative precedents from the United States federal and state jurisdictions were
scope, ever-expanding to meet the exigencies of the times, even to anticipate the future deferred to when the Philippines was still under American rule, it cannot be said that
where it could be done, provides enough room for an efficient and flexible response to the laissez-faire principle was invariably adhered to by us even then As early as 1919, in the
conditions and circumstances thus assuring the greatest benefits. In the language of Justice leading case of Rubi v. Provincial Board of Mindoro, 15 Justice Malcolm already had occasion
Cardozo: "Needs that were narrow or parochial in the past may be interwoven in the present
to affirm: "The doctrines of laissez-faire and of unrestricted freedom of the individual, as It is in the light of such rejection of the laissez-faire principle that during the Commonwealth
axioms of economic and political theory, are of the past. The modern period has shown a era, no constitutional infirmity was found to have attached to legislation covering such
widespread belief in the amplest possible demonstration of government activity. The Courts subjects as collective bargaining, 22 security of tenure, 23 minimum wages, 24 compulsory
unfortunately have sometimes seemed to trail after the other two branches of the arbitration, 25 the regulation of tenancy 26 as well as the issuance of
Government in this progressive march." People v. Pomar, 16 a 1924 decision which held securities, 27 and control of public services. 28 So it is likewise under the Republic this Court
invalid under the due process clause a provision providing for maternity leave with pay thirty having given the seal of approval to more favorable tenancy laws, 29nationalization of the
days before and thirty days after confinement could be cited to show that such a principle retail trade, 30 limitation of the hours of labor, 31 imposition of price control, 32 requirement
did have its day. It is to be remembered though that our Supreme Court had no other choice of separation pay for one month, 33 and social security scheme. 34
as the Philippines was then under the United States, and only recently the year before, the
American Supreme Court in Adkins v. Children's Hospital, 17 in line with the laissez- Respondent Galo thus could have profited by a little more diligence in the scrutiny of
faire theory, did hold that a statute providing for minimum wages was constitutionally infirm. Philippine decisions rendered with not unexpected regularity, during all the while our
Constitution has been in force attesting to the demise of such a shibboleth as laissez-faire. It
What is more, to erase any doubts, the Constitutional Convention saw to it that the concept was one of those fighting faiths that time and circumstances had upset, to paraphrase
of laissez-faire was rejected. It entrusted to our government the responsibility of coping with Holmes. Yet respondent Galo would seek to vivify and resurrect it. That, it would appear, is a
social and economic problems with the commensurate power of control over economic vain quest, a futile undertaking. The Reflector Law is thus immune from the attack so
affairs. Thereby it could live up to its commitment to promote the general welfare through recklessly hurled against it. It can survive, and quite easily too, the constitutional test.
state action. No constitutional objection to regulatory measures adversely affecting property
rights, especially so when public safety is the aim, is likely to be heeded, unless of course on 3. The same lack of success marks the effort of respondent Galo to impugn the validity of
the clearest and most satisfactory proof of invasion of rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Administrative Order No. 2 issued by petitioner in his official capacity, duly approved by the
On such a showing, there may be a declaration of nullity, but not because the laissez- Secretary of Public Works and Communications, for being contrary to the principle of non-
faire principle was disregarded but because the due process, equal protection, or non- delegation of legislative power. Such administrative order, which took effect on April 17,
impairment guarantees would call for vindication. 1970, has a provision on reflectors in effect reproducing what was set forth in the Act. Thus:
"No motor vehicles of whatever style, kind, make, class or denomination shall be registered if
To repeat, our Constitution which took effect in 1935 erased whatever doubts there might be not equipped with reflectors. Such reflectors shall either be factory built-in-reflector
on that score. Its philosophy is a repudiation of laissez-faire. One of the leading members of commercial glass reflectors, reflection tape or luminous paint. The luminosity shall have an
the Constitutional Convention, Manuel A. Roxas, later the first President of the Republic, intensity to be maintained visible and clean at all times such that if struck by a beam of light
made it clear when he disposed of the objection of Delegate Jose Reyes of Sorsogon, who shall be visible 100 meters away at night." 35 Then came a section on dimensions, placement
noted the "vast extensions in the sphere of governmental functions" and the "almost and color. As to dimensions the following is provided for: "Glass reflectors Not less than 3
unlimited power to interfere in the affairs of industry and agriculture as well as to compete inches in diameter or not less than 3 inches square; Reflectorized Tape At least 3 inches
with existing business" as "reflections of the fascination exerted by [the then] current wide and 12 inches long. The painted or taped area may be bigger at the discretion of the
tendencies" in other jurisdictions. 18 He spoke thus: "My answer is that this constitution has vehicle owner." 36 Provision is then made as to how such reflectors are to be "placed,
definite and well defined philosophy not only political but social and economic. ... If in this installed, pasted or painted." 37 There is the further requirement that in addition to such
Constitution the gentlemen will find declarations of economic policy they are there because reflectors there shall be installed, pasted or painted four reflectors on each side of the motor
they are necessary to safeguard the interests and welfare of the Filipino people because we vehicle parallel to those installed, pasted or painted in front and those in the rear end of the
believe that the days have come when in self-defense, a nation may provide in its body thereof. 38 The color required of each reflectors, whether built-in, commercial glass,
constitution those safeguards, the patrimony, the freedom to grow, the freedom to develop reflectorized tape or reflectorized paint placed in the front part of any motor vehicle shall be
national aspirations and national interests, not to be hampered by the artificial boundaries amber or yellow and those placed on the sides and in the rear shall all be red. 39
which a constitutional provision automatically imposes. 19
Penalties resulting from a violation thereof could be imposed. Thus: "Non-compliance with
It was not expected then when in a concurring opinion, Justice Laurel, who likewise sat in the the requirements contained in this Order shall be sufficient cause to refuse registration of
Constitutional Convention and was one of its leading lights, explicitly affirmed in a concurring the motor vehicle affected and if already registered, its registration maybe suspended in
opinion, later quoted with approval in the leading case of Antamok Goldfields Mining Co. v. pursuance of the provisions of Section 16 of RA 4136; [Provided], However, that in the case
Court of Industrial Relations, 20 that the Constitution did away with the laissez-faire doctrine. of the violation of Section 1(a) and (b) and paragraph (8) Section 3 hereof, a fine of not less
In the course of such concurring opinion and after noting the changes that have taken place than ten nor more than fifty pesos shall be imposed. 40 It is not to be lost sight of that under
calling for a more affirmative role by the government and its undeniable power to curtail Republic Act No. 4136, of which the Reflector Law is an amendment, petitioner, as the Land
property rights, he categorically declared the doctrine in People v. Pomar no longer retains Transportation Commissioner, may, with the approval of the Secretary of Public Works and
"its virtuality as a living principle." 21 Communications, issue rules and regulations for its implementation as long as they do not
conflict with its provisions. 41 It is likewise an express provision of the above statute that for a
violation of any of its provisions or regulations promulgated pursuant thereto a fine of not Our later decisions speak to the same effect. Thus from, Justice J. B. L. Reyes in People vs.
less than P10 nor not less than P50 could be imposed. 42 Exconde: 46 "It is well establish in this jurisdiction that, while the making of laws is a non-
delegable activity that corresponds exclusively to Congress, nevertheless the latter may
It is a fundamental principle flowing from the doctrine of separation of powers that Congress constitutionally delegate authority to promulgate rules and regulations to implement a given
may not delegate its legislative power to the two other branches of the government, subject legislation and effectuate its policies, for the reason that the legislature often finds it
to the exception that local governments may over local affairs participate in its exercise. impracticable (if not impossible) to anticipate and proved for the multifarious and complex
What cannot be delegated is the authority under the Constitution to make laws and to alter situations that may be met in carrying the law in effect. All that is required is that the
and repeal them; the test is the completeness of the statute in all its term and provisions regulation should germane to the objects and purposes of the law; that the regulation be not
when it leaves the hands of the legislature. To determine whether or not there is an undue in contradiction with it; but conform to the standards that the law prescribes ... " 47
delegation of legislative power the inquiry must be directed to the scope and definiteness of
the measure enacted. The legislature does not abdicate its functions when it describes what An even more explicit formulation of the controlling principle comes from the pen of the
job must be done, who is to do it, and what is the scope of his authority. For a complex then Justice, now Chief Justice, Concepcion: "Lastly, the legality of Circular No. 21 is assailed
economy, that may indeed be the only way in which the legislative process can go forward. A upon the ground that the grant of authority to issue the same constitutes an undue
distinction has rightfully been made between delegation of power to make the laws which delegation of legislative power. It is true that, under our system of government, said power
necessarily involves a discretion as to what it shall be, which constitutionally may not be may not be delegated except to local governments. However, one thing is to delegate the
done, and delegation of authority or discretion as to its execution to exercised under and in power to determine what the law shall be, and another thing to delegate the authority to fix
pursuance of the law, to which no valid objection call be made. The Constitution is thus not the details in the execution of enforcement of a policy set out in the law itself. Briefly stated,
to be regarded as denying the legislature the necessary resources of flexibility and the rule is that the delegated powers fall under the second category, if the law authorizing
practicability. the, delegation furnishes a reasonable standard which "sufficiently marks the field within
which the Administrator is to act so that it may be known whether he has kept within it in
To avoid the taint of unlawful delegation, there must be a standard, which implies at the very compliance with the legislative will." (Yakus vs. United States, 88 L. ed.
least that the legislature itself determines matters of principle and lay down fundamental 848) ... It should be noted, furthermore, that these powers must be construed and exercised
policy. Otherwise, the charge of complete abdication may be hard to repel. A standard thus in relation to the objectives of the law creating the Central Bank, which are, among others,
defines legislative policy, marks its limits, its maps out its boundaries and specifies the public "to maintain monetary stability in the Philippines," and "to promote a rising level of
agency to apply it. It indicates the circumstances under which the legislative command is to production, employment and real income in the Philippines." (Section 2, Rep. Act No. 265).
be effected. It is the criterion by which legislative purpose may be carried out. Thereafter, These standards are sufficiently concrete and definite to vest in the delegated authority, the
the executive or administrative office designated may in pursuance of the above guidelines character of administrative details in the enforcement of the law and to place the grant said
promulgate supplemental rules and regulations. authority beyond the category of a delegation of legislative powers ... " 48

The standard may be either express or implied. If the former, the non-delegation objection is It bears repeating that the Reflector Law construed together with the Land Transportation
easily met. The standard though does not have to be spelled out specifically. It could be Code. Republic Act No. 4136, of which it is an amendment, leaves no doubt as to the stress
implied from the policy and purpose of the act considered as a whole. In the Reflector Law, and emphasis on public safety which is the prime consideration in statutes of this character.
clearly the legislative objective is public safety. That is sought to be attained as in Calalang v. There is likewise a categorical affirmation Of the power of petitioner as Land Transportation
Williams is "safe transit upon the roads." 43 Commissioner to promulgate rules and regulations to give life to and translate into actuality
such fundamental purpose. His power is clear. There has been no abuse. His Administrative
Order No. 2 can easily survive the attack, far-from-formidable, launched against it by
This is to adhere to the recognition given expression by Justice Laurel in a decision
respondent Galo.
announced not long after the Constitution came into force and effect that the principle of
non-delegation "has been made to adapt itself the complexities of modern governments,
giving rise to the adoption, within certain limits, of the principle of "subordinate legislation" WHEREFORE, the writs of certiorari and prohibition prayed for are granted, the orders of May
not only in the United States and England but in practically all modern governments." 44He 28, 1970 of respondent Judge for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction, the writ of
continued: "Accordingly, with the growing complexity of modern life, the multiplication of preliminary injunction of June 1, 1970 and his order of June 9, 1970 denying reconsideration
the subjects of governmental regulation, and the increased difficulty of administering the are annulled and set aside. Respondent Judge is likewise directed to dismiss the petition for
laws, there is a constantly growing tendency toward the delegation of greater powers by the certiorari and prohibition filed by respondent Teddy C. Galo, there being no cause of action
legislature and toward the approval of the practice by the courts." 45 Consistency with the as the Reflector Law and Administrative Order No. 2 of petitioner have not been shown to be
conceptual approach requires the reminder that what is delegated is authority non- tainted by invalidity. Without pronouncement as to costs.
legislative in character, the completeness of the statute when it leaves the hands of Congress
being assumed. Reyes, J.B.L., Actg. C.J., Dizon, Makalintal, Zaldivar, Castro, Teehankee, Barredo and
Makasiar, JJ., concur. Concepcion, C.J. and Villamor, J., took no part.